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Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Traffic violations pressed while fatality investigation continues

Mother, daughter held for now in Osage County Jail

Hit and run suspects Ramona I. Morgan, left, and daughter Sabrina J. Morgan are escorted by Osage County Sheriff's officers from the Osage County Courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 following their first court appearance a day after a hit and run incident on US Highway 59 four miles south of Lawrence which left one KDOT worker, Tyrone T. Korte, 30, Seneca, and a contract worker Rolland "Ron" Griffith, 24, El Dorado, dead. Ramona I. Morgan was ordered held on a $2 million bond and Sabrina J. Morgan ordered held on a $1 million bond at the request of Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones.

Hit and run suspects Ramona I. Morgan, left, and daughter Sabrina J. Morgan are escorted by Osage County Sheriff's officers from the Osage County Courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 following their first court appearance a day after a hit and run incident on US Highway 59 four miles south of Lawrence which left one KDOT worker, Tyrone T. Korte, 30, Seneca, and a contract worker Rolland "Ron" Griffith, 24, El Dorado, dead. Ramona I. Morgan was ordered held on a $2 million bond and Sabrina J. Morgan ordered held on a $1 million bond at the request of Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones.

September 12, 2007

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Women led police on 11-mile chase

The accident killed two highway construction workers, 30-year-old Tyrone Korte of Seneca and 24-year-old Rolland Griffith of El Dorado. Enlarge video

Steven Schrock, KU assistant professor on work zone safety research

Steven Schrock, a Kansas University assistant professor of engineering, who talks about research on work zone safety on highways. Enlarge video

KU researching highway work zone safety

Engineers at KU are working on a new communication system to help alert highway workers of potential danger. Enlarge video

Women charged in fatal accident

Hit-and-run suspects Ramona I. Morgan, left, and daughter Sabrina J. Morgan are escorted by Osage County Sheriff's officers into the Osage County Courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007 for their first court appearance. Enlarge video

Osage County D.A. Brandon Jones on the charges

Osage County District Attorney Brandon L. Jones talks about the bond and facts of the case in the double fatality accident on Highway 59. Enlarge video

Two construction workers were killed in an accident Tuesday morning, south of Lawrence

— The driver of a pickup truck being pursued by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper following the deaths of two highway workers on Tuesday forced one car to the shoulder and tried to avoid a spike strip placed by officers.

Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones pointed to these factors Wednesday in Osage County court while asking that Ramona I. Morgan, 48, the accused driver, be held on $2 million bond. Magistrate Jon Stephen Jones granted that request. He also set a $1 million bond for Morgan's daughter, Sabrina J. Morgan, 26, who was charged with aiding a felon. Authorities allege that she was a passenger in the truck and did nothing to get her mother to stop during the chase. Both are being held in the Osage County Jail.

Ramona Morgan was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, which is a felony, and misdemeanor traffic charges that include reckless driving, speeding, not using a turn signal, and failure to maintain a single lane. If convicted of the felony, she could be sentenced to a maximum of 17 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $100,000. Convictions on the traffic charges could mean various jail sentences.

Charges in Douglas County are pending as an investigation continues into the hit-and-run deaths of Tyrone T. Korte, 30, of Seneca, a Kansas Department of Transportation employee, and Rolland "Ron" Griffith, 24, of El Dorado, a worker with Dustrol Inc., a highway construction contractor in Towanda. They were killed when they were hit by a truck that was driven through a work zone on U.S. Highway 59 at Pleasant Grove, 4 miles south of Lawrence. Both workers were wearing orange vests.

A second Dustrol worker, Amanda Hopper, 21, also of El Dorado, was injured. She was flagging traffic at the north end of the construction zone when the truck drove by and struck her, according to the Highway Patrol. She was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson wouldn't speculate on possible charges or on how long the investigation by the Highway Patrol and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office might take.

"As soon as the investigation is done, we'll be able to review the matter for charges," he said.

First appearance

The Morgans, dressed in orange jail suits and handcuffed together, proclaimed their innocence as they were led to and from the courthouse.

"I did not run anyone over; those were metal barricades," Ramona Morgan said.

Ramona Morgan said she didn't stop because she was being chased. "I thought they were shooting at me and stuff," she said.

Meanwhile her daughter said, "I'm sorry and it was an accident, if it happened."

Ramona Morgan claimed they were being framed. "We're not guilty and we didn't do nothing," she said.

The Morgans' last known address was in Chewelah, Wash. They said they sold their home and were attempting to buy property in Missouri.

"We're just farmers and we were just going to find a farm to live," Sabrina Morgan said.

The Morgans said they didn't have the money to post bond.

Brandon Jones pushed for a high bond because he considered the Morgans a flight risk because they had no known ties to Kansas or adjacent states. It was unclear whether the Morgans even knew where they were, he said.

"We feel that they are a danger to the community," he said.

The hit-and-run

Brandon Jones said Ramona Morgan was driving when the truck finally came to a stop on U.S. Highway 56 south of Scranton after two of its tires were flattened by the spike strip. He said investigators were still determining who the driver was in Douglas County.

During the pursuit, Sabrina Morgan called 911, he said.

"She was told multiple times to have the driver stop. She did not do it," he said.

"They took two people's lives and then they refused to stop for the police here in Osage County so they're facing serious charges here in Osage County, but I don't think that's anything compared to what they'll be facing in Douglas County," Brandon Jones said after the court hearing.

Past crimes

While the Morgans have no ties to Kansas, they have a lengthy list of legal run-ins in the state of Washington, particularly in Whatcom County. Whatcom is in the state's northwest region, north of Seattle.

Sabrina Morgan in 2002 pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and malicious mischief after an incident in which she took a mailbox and attacked passing cars, according to the Whatcom County Superior Court clerk's office. The probable cause affidavit in that case also said that Sabrina Morgan was throwing furniture out the window and fought a police officer who responded to the incident.

Ramona Morgan has her own assault conviction, stemming from a 2004 case. Though little detail was available in that case, the court clerk's office said she served one day in jail and was sentenced to 12 months of probation after pleading guilty to a lesser charge. She also has convictions for reckless driving, which the Whatcom County prosecutor's office described as driving very badly.

In addition to the convictions, both Morgans are named in a number of additional cases. Both were involved in another case that was dismissed without prejudice and no action was taken. The court clerk could not provide details in that case.

'Kept to themselves'

The Morgans recently sold their mobile home in Chewelah and were preparing to move. A neighbor, when reached by phone, said the home had been for sale for several months and had recently sold.

"They lived there about a year," said Charles Martin, who is retired and owns the property next to where the Morgans lived. "They lived in a mobile home and it looked like they were raising cattle."

Martin said he never really had any dealings with the Morgans but saw them drive a pickup truck past his house.

"They really kept to themselves," Martin said.

The Morgans' truck had a South Dakota license plate, according to a Highway Patrol accident report. A spokeswoman for the South Dakota Highway Patrol said that based on the license number, the Morgans had recently purchased the vehicle.

The Morgans told Magistrate Jones that they intend to hire their own attorneys. Jones ordered them to return to court at 9 a.m. Sept. 20 with their attorneys.

Comments

May Soo 7 years, 3 months ago

Ramona Morgan claimed they were being framed. "We're not guilty and we didn't do nothing," she said.


Well, I hope they get what they deserves and don't get off easily because they are mentally insant. They are truely a danger to others and themselves.

CindiCat 7 years, 3 months ago

Okay, I have a question.......can ANY of their comments/statements that they gave to reporters, be used against them later? I would think that they would keep their mouths shut until they had attorneys. Just wondering.

bobbie1207 7 years, 3 months ago

""I did not run anyone over; those were metal barricades," Ramona Morgan said."


Oh my goodness! What freakin' world is that woman living in?????

Bobbie

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

"She was told multiple times to have the driver stop. She did not do it," he said.

They better have more on her than that at the end of the day or that charge ain't gonna stick.

bangaranggerg 7 years, 3 months ago

There is no level of this story that isn't deeply disturbing. The tragic loss of life and the tragic waste of it. I hope it's easier to prosecute these women than it would be to get them to read a book. They are cattle farmers? I wasn't aware meth was a dairy product.

compmd 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope they are charged in Douglas County on October 1 so I can watch these "LOL THEY MAKE METAL BARRICADES THAT LOOK LIKE PEOPLE!!!?!!?!" ladies along with Miss "ZOMG TEH STATE TROOPERS WORK FOR A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OPERATED BY A FOREIGN CORPORATION AND THEY ARE TRYING TO KIDNAP MEEEEE!"

I mean seriously, WTF.

Cindi, they should have had attorneys. If they didn't, they are dumb (they're probably dumb as a box of rocks anyway but given their track record they know how to play the game).

Lonestar1 7 years, 3 months ago

What punishment could possibly fit this crime? And would she even get it? This is the coldest thing I have seen in a long time. To smash two persons with your truck and them drive on like it was nothing. Even say it was nothing. Road rage to the max. The should put up billboards with photos of those men and her truck at every work zone to remind drivers of what happened.

bluedog 7 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone know how fast they were going? It ended up about two miles east from my parents' house. Glad they didn't end up in their front yard. They said the hood of the truck was pretty banged up and the windshield was completely cracked. You'd think it would be difficult to see driving with a broken windshield. Not sure if it was before or after the truck was stopped with spikes.

Jade6808 7 years, 3 months ago

I am glad that some people care what has happened to my brother inlaw and this other man, How in the world can you say that a group of people look like metal barricades. Thanks for your support.

TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 3 months ago

In that pic, they look like one person with two heads. Creepy.

farmgal 7 years, 3 months ago

Lonestar1 wrote: "What punishment could possibly fit this crime?"

Death by hanging.

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

They were going 75 miles an hour when they hit my cousin Ron. The windsheild was broken because one of the other men threw a $700 remote at her to try to stop her. That was after she had hit the stop sign the flag girl was holding and snapped it in half. My cousin will always be remembered as our HERO. He may have been able to save himself but he was able to save the life of another man he pushed out of the way! We will always love and miss him very much and we will never forget him for as long as we live! WE LOVE YOU RON!

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

Un-freakin-believable ..

They are denying all responsibility.

Douglas Co better not screw up this case like they (almost) did against the KSU Prof.

Where's the REMORSE????????????

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope they never get out of prison! Ron is not able to have his life back, neither is the other man. His wife and the rest of his family will never have anymore time with him. And his first child (on the way) will never meet their daddy. He was more than just somebody that got hit, he was our family! We are not sure that we will be able to see him at the funeral to give him a proper good bye, and that is really tearing me up! She doesn't deserve to have a life outside of the cell!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

The driver will at the very least be charged with voluntary manslaughter, plus charges for the chase.

I think they'll have a really difficult time making anything stick against the passenger.

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

bozo ... you may be right, especially with Douglas Co administering ..

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus I think you're right...

otto 7 years, 3 months ago

Very sad, to the families - I am sorry for your loss.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 3 months ago

"I'm sorry and it was an accident, if it happened."

"If it happened"...unbelievable.

I saw a similar thing take place a few years ago in Michigan. I was stuck in traffic on the freeway and soon discovered from a truck driver with a CB that a highway construction worker about a half mile ahead was run over and killed. The worst part is that he was a young guy whose father was working on the same crew. His dad got him the job for the summer and saw the whole thing happen.

Road workers deserve a lot of credit. Have you ever changed a tire on the side of a busy freeway? It's pretty scary to feel so vulnerable as cars go flying by. I couldn't imagine being in that situation every day. This tragedy will certainly remind me to "give 'em a brake" as the sign says and be extra cautious around these working men and women in the future. My thoughts go out to the families. Please know that there are a lot of people thinking about you during this horrible time.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says:

The driver will at the very least be charged with voluntary manslaughter, plus charges for the chase.

I think they'll have a really difficult time making anything stick against the passenger.

Agreed Bozo. Also, the photo says a lot. The mom looks completely unremorseful. Meanwhile the daughter is entirely broken up. It will be interesting to hear details of the story.

snazzo 7 years, 3 months ago

Ramona Morgan said she didn't stop because she was being chased. "I thought they were shooting at me and stuff," she said.

wow. that's insane. literally insane. you know, besides the fact that they thought human beings were metal barricades.

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you all so much for your support we really appreciate it. Actually Ron's dad and brother also work for the same company as well, but they were working in a different location at the time. If I had my way, we would have the same road construction signs as Oklahoma. It has a drawing made by a child that says something like Careful My Daddy Works Here! I think it gives more of a human perspective to road workers showing that they actually have lives and families to go home to as well as everyone else!

snazzo 7 years, 3 months ago

I'ma actually from Osage County, and I'm proud to say they tend to be rather tough when it comes law enforcement.... especially the highway patrol.

Ceallach 7 years, 3 months ago

First I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the two men who were killed. You are right, no sentence can ever recompense for such a deep loss.

They have no remorse cuz they "didn't do nothing." This is certainly an instance when a picture is worth a thousand words, and a few words paint a picture.

acg 7 years, 3 months ago

OMG he pushed another man out of the way before being hit himself? What a touching act of heroism especially since he had to know that he was going to be hit. These two need to be charged with murder, no two ways about it. I'm so sorry for your loss, family members and friends. Something like this just makes no sense at all.

costello 7 years, 3 months ago

My condolensces to the families of both these men. Every time I read one of these stories, I begin crying again. What a senseless thing to happen. What a tragic loss.

I hope the driver spends the rest of her days in prison. She's just too dangerous to live in society.

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you all so much for all your support! I wanted everyone to know that he is just more than a name in the news. I want everyone to know that he was a HERO! We didn't know that part when we talked to the news crew, so it wasn't out there for the public to know. We found out later by talking to some of the other crew members and the man that Ron saved! I hate that this happened, and knowing that she is showing no remorse makes it worse. But knowing that he died a HERO helps to comfort us some. He was one who was always thinking of other people and always trying to make everyone laugh. I guess it doesn't surprise me that he would save someone else's life before his own. It just doesn't seem fair that the good people die young while there are people like her that are still allowed to live.

coolmom 7 years, 3 months ago

i think the "it was an accident if it happened" speaks for itself. if she doesnt want to tell the truth she should go down with just as much time. i would like to hear that 911 call. why waste the money and time on this they just shoot mad dogs. come on a baby wont even get to know its daddy.

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 3 months ago

Come on, those were just metal barriers...

costello 7 years, 3 months ago

The Wichita paper has a few details that I haven't seen here: http://www.kansas.com/news/story/173864.html

I think someone mentioned this on the forum yesterday:

"Jacks said employees at the site told him it was the second time the Morgans' Chevy truck had driven through the work zone that morning.

"The pickup had first gone north through the work zone at about 9 a.m., driving around a line of vehicles awaiting the pilot vehicle and the flagger at the south end of the zone. The pickup nearly ran over a foreman, Jacks said.

"About 45 minutes later, the pickup returned and drove around another line of waiting vehicles."

How sad that they weren't detained after the first trip through. I suppose they would have only received a ticket, then allowed to go on?

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

costello ... you're probably right. Ticketed, and go on their way. But then something crazy might have happened somewhere else, you just don't know.

It just amazes me that SO many people live 'on the edge' these days.

Where's the reality gone?

costello 7 years, 3 months ago

According to the Kansas City paper, it isn't clear if the police were notified after the Morgans' first trip through the work zone.

"On Tuesday morning, a northbound truck came through the work zone at a high rate of speed.

"A foreman [for Dustrol] spoke with a Transportation Department employee on the scene about alerting the Highway Patrol, but Jacks said he did not know whether the call was made."

http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/273039.html

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

seriously, cool mom? i hope you're never on a jury. this is a tragic situation, and the driver should be held accountable. But, the passenger called 911. what else was she supposed to do? and then the osage da charges her with a more serious crime than the driver. (aiding a felony is a level 8 felony, while fleeing and eluding is a level 9).

May Soo 7 years, 3 months ago

They should be hanged, why put them in jail and wasted tax payers' money to feed them for life?

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

july241983 Good point... There are a number of people who have posted on this that would have absolutely no business ever serving on any jury...

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

july ... if you're charged with "aiding a felony" ... then there must be a felony. Therefore the mom gets the felony charge in addition to fleeing and eluding.

Logic / aka common sense.

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

the felony is fleeing and eluding- maximum penalty 17 months. aiding a felony- maximum penalty 23 months

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

aiding a felony is a felony itself. and it is more serious than fleeing and eluding. Of course, the driver will be facing a much more seriously felony in douglas county

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

no, Centrist. The felony that the daughter is charged with aiding is the fleeing and eluding. The County Attorney said the charge is based on the daughter's failure to get the mother to stop. These charges have nothing to do with the deaths in Douglas County.

As July correctly points out, the daughter's current charge carries higher penalties than the mother's.

We should all be disturbed by a county attorney charging a bystander to a crime for failing to take sufficient action to stop the crime. The daughter did all that she could do and what we have all been told to do when we are caught in a dangerous situation beyond our control: Call 911 and get the trained professionals involved. It is terrifying to me to think that such a bystander will then be considered a criminal for not doing more than alerting the proper authorities. Shouldn't the bystander be allowed to hunker down and wait for the proper authorities to handle the criminal??

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

july .. right. It does seem a bit ridiculous that the passenger gets it worse. But they know what they're doing - there's a bigger felony charge coming in Douglas Co, hence their logic. Perhaps there's method to their madness - throw the book at the passenger so she doesn't get out of it lightly.

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr .. she isn't exactly a 'bystander' .. she's denying the event too!

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

The passenger is NOT a victim here. If she was, she could've called 911 after the first run through the barricades ..

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

Where is logrithmic today and his blame game mentality????? july231983........doesn't the fact that the daughter actually said........."it was an accident, if it really did happen?" give you an idea of just how little the passenger cares about what happened. Yes, she called 911 in a feeble attempt to make it look like there was something else happening. She was asked repeatedly to tell her mom to pull over and she never said a word to her. She did nothing to prevent this and now she is doing everything to try and cover it up.

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

To me it looks like she decided to turn on her mom after seeing the awfulness of what happened ... and possibly only to save her own butt. Stand by for testimony about being an unwilling participant. Oh yes, we all know THAT's coming ..

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

I see that picture of the daughter crying and looking out of her mind and I think how traumatized she is by what happened. Of course she's denying responsibility, calling it an accident, etc. There's practically a lynch mob forming to string her up or fry her, as various commenters on this site have offered to do.

Keep in mind, this poor girl witnessed her mother plow over two people. She called 911. Yet she's still facing intense criticism and judgment from people who are ready to throw her in jail for life.

Now be honest and answer this: what would you have done? What would you have said? Mightn't you be in shock initially and incapable of forming a rational thought about how to respond? To anyone who says no, I call bull. Then, how might you have responded when you did the only thing you could, call 911, as your mother continued her bizarre drive with dozens of police cars following you and that's still not good enough? Knowing all those police cars are filled with people with guns aimed at the speeding car you're stuck in. Then, the car finally comes to a stop and you're arrested. For being a passenger. (Interesting that the word passenger derives from the same root as the word passive...) Now, you're told you're facing serious felonies and a million dollar bond is placed on you. Maybe, just maybe, you, too, would be so stunned you'd be incapable of forming any rational statement and would just say something like, "I don't know what the heck happened, but I know whatever did happen must have been an accident."

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Give me a break.. She wasn't a by-stander. She was a willing participant. If she were a bystander, she would have gotten out of the truck the first time they broke the law and ran through that construction area.

Jeez... here we go.. People will start making excuses for these women and before long the horrible thing that they have done, will be forgotten. That is the real tragedy in all of this.

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ- ever been in the car when someone was stopped for speeding? Do you pay the ticket?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr said.. "maybe, you, too, would be so stunned you'd be incapable of forming any rational statement and would just say something like, "I don't know what the heck happened, but I know whatever did happen must have been an accident."

Read the girls past history. This wasn't a lightning strike out of the blue. These people lived a reckless and self-absorbed life that has been putting people in danger for years.

Brother... this kind of excuse making is exactly why these kind of people are walking free in our society.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ_ said: Give me a break.. She wasn't a by-stander. She was a willing participant. If she were a bystander, she would have gotten out of the truck the first time they broke the law and ran through that construction area.

Jeez: here we go.. People will start making excuses for these women and before long the horrible thing that they have done, will be forgotten. That is the real tragedy in all of this.


I have not said word one defending the actions of the person responsible for this terrible tragedy: the driver. What I am arguing against is the wholesale application of the principle of guilt by association. Being a "willing participant" in a crime requires a whole lot more than just being present while someone next to you commits a crime. As I said before, the passenger in a speeding car doesn't have a whole lot of options for controlling the situation or even extracting herself. Some of you people would require her to jump out of the moving car to avoid criminal liability. That is what has outraged me so much. The law is supposed to punish those who affirmatively do bad things. We should not punish those who fail to try or are unable to stop those around them from doing bad things.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

july241983-

Nope never been in a car that was stopped for speeding... however, I have gotten out of vehicles and walked when the person driving them was reckless or doing something illegal.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ is absolutely right. She wasn't a by-stander, and she certainly isn't innocent. She is 26 years old and still living with her mom and the fact they both have prior records in Washington gives us a little insight into their recent behavior. She called 911 in an attempt to cover up the truth. When they asked her to ask her mother to stop the truck, she said NOTHING. Both her, and her mothers comments are revealing about their attitude towards what happened. They exhibit no remorse, sorrow, or acceptance of their responsibility for causing these two deaths. The more we hear about the eyewitness accounts of what happened, the more disturbing these two women are. Remember, they went through this area TWICE, breaking several laws on both occasions and some of you want us to feel sorry for this "poor" girl who certainly had several opportunities to do something and CHOSE not to. You will see she didn't call 911 after the first pass through........Only after killing two people and being chased by the police did she start the beginning of her "insanity defense". Her mother probably instructed her to call 911 to try and save her bacon.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ - do you honestly think you had to get out of the car to avoid being held responsible for the driver's actions? And what would you have done had the driver not brought the car to a stop? Say your buddy had been driving too fast or a little recklessly on I-70? What then?

unite2revolt 7 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to hear the tape, to know what was said.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr said: I have not said word one defending the actions of the person responsible for this terrible tragedy: the driver.

If a person is part of a mob that incites a riot, but they never thow a stone, does that make them innocent? Not in my book.

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

shockchalk- if you throw enough speculation against the wall, maybe some of it will stick.

jeri_cat 7 years, 3 months ago

I keep reading comments about the picture showing the mother's lack of remorse and the obvious remorse of the daughter. I watched the news video from when this picture was taken. At the time that picture was taken, the daughter was commenting about the bond that was set. She started crying when she said " We cant afford it. We are just farmers" There was no crying because of what happened, only because she (they) do not have the money to get out of jail. You can not always tell the story from just a single picture.

They are also saying they do not know that the mother was driving at the time of the accident, only at the time of the arrest.

Also, metal barricades are not used on state construction projects. That excuse won't hold up.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

july.........if you make enough excuses for someone's poor choices, they will continue to make them. This is just another one in this young womans life. I'm SURE she would like it if you were on her jury.......falling for her lies, excuses, and blameshifting.....hook, line, and sinker.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr..

I could probably think up a set of circumstances to try and make my point and make you agree with me. However, I am not trying to make excuses for these two losers. Not the mother or the daughter. She isn't innocent and all your "what if" examples mean nothing. The fact that she did nothing to stop the situation means those two men are now cheated out the life that was stolen from them.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Gotta take a break for a while... I'll catch up after lunch

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

Once again TJ makes a great point. You can make excuses and create "what if" scenarios all afternoon. But the fact that she did NOTHING to try and stop this makes it quite clear that she was a part of it. She wouldn't even do what the 911 dispatcher asked her to do but I notice that neither july24 or ebyr have nothing to say about that or her statement now that says...........if it did happen??? Explain to me why she is saying that if she was just a victim of being there? She should be going on and on about what her mom, the driver did, and how she tried to stop her. But we all know that's not what happened............at least most of us do.

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

shock... all i'm saying is- you seem to know everything about this case based on a couple of quotes from the newspaper. and you have already judged the PASSENGER in the vehicle guilty because she has made some stupid decisions in her life. I'm just not that quick to judge. Especially when there is no law in Kansas that requires someone to affirmatively stop someone else from committing a crime. If you aid them, you are guilty. If you make the decision not to try to stop them, maybe it was a bad decision, but the law says that you are not guilty of a crime.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

No, I never said I knew everything about the case and I'm no quicker to "judge" than you are to defend with the same amount of information. However, it would be obvious to me that if I was involved in the killing of two men, I would be wrought with guilt, remorse, and sadness NOT denial of what happened.

Confrontation 7 years, 3 months ago

No one should be surprised that these women were heading for a new life in Missouri. Missouri is the perfect place for psychos like this.

july241983 7 years, 3 months ago

as this board shows, anything the passenger says right now will be twisted around in an effort to send her to prison. maybe this is why she didn't do a sit down interview with the LJW where she says how sorry she is. She was charged with a felony. She has a presumption of innocence. She also has the right to remain silent. Considering the lynch mob mentality, you cannot blame the woman for exercising her rights.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

shock- the article simply says that she didn't get her mother to stop, not that she didn't try. Even if she didn't tell her mother to stop, I go back to my earlier point that it wasn't her duty to do that. It's the job of the police to catch the criminal, not a lay person stuck in the situation. And if the lay person resists when told to go catch the criminal, why that doesn't make the lay person a criminal, too, now does it?

I didn't make a "what if" hypothetical scenario. I tried to get some of you to place yourself in the daughter's situation and truly consider what you would have done and how you would have expected to be treated after the situation had ended. I think it's only fair to have some realistic idea in mind about what she should have done before judging her to be a criminal for not doing it. If what you think she should have done would place her in harm's way (like forcibly taking control of the car or trying to jump out of it), I think it's totally unfair to charge her with a crime for not doing it.

Unfortunately it seems that some of you would rather just throw blanket judgments on people you don't know based on the incomplete information you've read from a news article rather than give any serious thought to what standards our community should hold for deciding who has committed a crime and who hasn't.

SloMo 7 years, 3 months ago

When Retta posted here as a witness on the day that this happened, she said something about the stop-sign holder teller her that there was a van that looked like it was in pursuit of the truck. Does anyone else remember that?

lubyloo 7 years, 3 months ago

These two women are obviously losers. What were they even doing here? I wonder if in making the"metal barricades" comment, the mother was saying that that the workers were not adequately protected -- was she saying that the barricades should have been made of concrete? If that's her excuse, she is clearly nuts. It is sad that two young people, so cherished by their families, were killed by these two fools. My thoughts are with the families.

justthefacts 7 years, 3 months ago

These two women both appear to be seriously messed up (for whatever reason) and have apparently (I would say definitely but I was not an actual witness nor am I privy to all the facts) done something absolutely terrible. I truly hope the system makes sure they are prevented from causing future harm to anyone else.

There are many reasons for people being messed up. Nature and nurture. If the daughter grew up being raised by this woman, she was probably "screwed" up from day one. It's sad, but quite a few people get really bad parents (nature) and/or upbringing (nurture). And that can influence the results (but people who get dealt a bad hand sometimes do manage to win (change their life) despite the odds). Who knows what kind of life (or gene pool) mom came from. It's not an excuse, just a possible explanation for what seems to be two people (or at least one) who are in complete and utter denial about their conduct or responsibility to others!

Whatever the reasons, any person who participates in killing another for any reason other then personal self-defense can (and eventually will) pay a high price. We may not get to see it, but I have to believe it is true.

Condolences to all the family/friends/co-workers of those two men who were killed. There is nothing that can be said or done to make it any easier. Just goes to show us all how short and precious life truly is, so we all need to value and cherish our loved ones every day. Because we never know....

justthefacts 7 years, 3 months ago

P.S. Missourri is now the meth capital of the US.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

SloMo Yes, I remember that comment about a van chasing the truck...

jeri_cat 7 years, 3 months ago

If the daughter did what she could by calling 911, why did she wait until after the trooper spotted them and the chase began? Why wouldn't she have called right after it happened. Wasn't it around 15 minutes after the accident when the first trooper spotted them? If she wasn't calling just to save her own butt, I would think she would have called 911 immediately.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr said...

"Even if she didn't tell her mother to stop, I go back to my earlier point that it wasn't her duty to do that."

That's a pretty poor excuse to sit by and watch two men be murdered.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Ebyrdstarr wrote: "If what you think she should have done would place her in harm's way (like forcibly taking control of the car or trying to jump out of it), I think it's totally unfair to charge her with a crime for not doing it."

How does her saying, "mom please stop the truck", place her in any kind of harm's way??

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ - I was specifically referring to the post-hit and run 911 call. The County Attorney based the charge of aiding a felon on her failure to get her mother to stop. The CA says that because she did not get her mother to stop the chase, she "aided" her mother in the chase. I maintain that under the law, we should not place any such burden on lay people who happen to be next to criminals as they are committing a crime.

As for the sitting by and watching two men be murdered thing, again I ask you what specifically should the person do? How much criminal responsibility should we as a society put on the person next to the person with the dangerous weapon? In this case, the driver had sole control over the dangerous weapon, the speeding car. In other cases, the killer has sole control over a gun. Do you honestly feel that the person next to the gun-wielding family member is required to wrestle the gun away, thereby putting herself in harm's way, to avoid being charged with the killing? Here, was the passenger required to risk a serious accident by wrestling control of the car away from her mother? Was she required to throw herself out of the car? What you are putting forth is the notion that we truly should consider people to be guilty merely by association. Everybody who is there shares responsibility, regardless of intent. I am not ok with that being a basis for prosecuting people.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ - we don't know whether she did or did not ask her mother to stop the car. All we know is that her mother did not stop the car. The CA's comments are very ambiguous about whether she failed to ask her mother to stop or just failed at actually persuading her mother to stop. Either way, how does the fact that she couldn't or wouldn't get her mother to stop the car during the police chase make her criminally liable for the deaths?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Again you make the assertion that she just "happen to be next to a criminal". This is preposterous to give her that kind of a free pass. Guilt by association may not be a legal term, but morally it is an absolute. If you hang out with people who consistently break the law and disregard the safety and well-being of others, you are a hoodlum and you are at least partially guilty for the illegal activities that these people engage in.

Sorry, you haven't convinced me that she deserves anything except for the charges that have been filed against her. She is a hoodlum, who lives with a hoodlum and she isn't innocent.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

seriously shockchalk - some of us have other things to do. I think I have demonstrated plenty of willingness to address questions and be part of an active discussion. I wish you and TJ would put some consideration into some of my questions instead of just branding both these women "losers."

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

By the way Ebyrdstarr.. it has been fun chatting back and forth today. I always enjoy a good discussion that doesn't disolve into name calling and ridiculous childish slams. I wish we were discussing something that was less tragic. I think we can all agree that it is a horrible thing that has happened.

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

Cool--- Are you serious?!?! 20 years?!?! They should get no less than LIFE!! Those b** don't deserve another minute with their families. They don't deserve another minute living life like the rest of us. The families of those two men will never get them back. Ron's unborn child will never get the chance to know his/her father! Those women should be locked up FOR LIFE!!

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr I believe you will be proven correct... as I don't think they'll be able to get a conviction on the aiding a felon charge...

farmgal 7 years, 3 months ago

From what I've read about this case & their past brushes with the law, I'd guess the driver (mother) simply has a total disregard for human life (other than her own). She sounds like someone who was too impatient and too self-important to be bothered with waiting in the single file traffic line. I don't see her as insane, but as someone who thinks the rules and regs don't apply to her. And that kind of behavior that takes another human being's life, I believe should be punishable by hanging from the highest tree.

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

"That's a pretty poor excuse to sit by and watch two men be murdered."

And yet that is all that is required of police officers. Absent some specific duty to an individual or a duty created through other means, police officers have no free-standing affirmative duty to an individual to reach out and help that individual. An officer's duty is only to the "general public" whatever that means. Mills v. OP, 251 Kan. 434 (1994). Why would you require more of a private citizen?

The prevailing rule in Kansas is that in the absence of a "special relationship" there is no duty on a person to control the conduct of a third person to prevent harm to others. A "special relationship" is a term of art that usually contain some element of control or custody such as "parent and child, master and servant, the possessor of land and licensees." Gragg v. Wichita State Univ., 261 Kan. 1037 (1997).

Look also at the Restatement (Second) of Torts s 314: "The fact that the actor realizes or should realize that action on his part is necessary for another's aid or protection does not of itself impose upon him a duty to take such action." Kansas utilizes this restatement.

Maybe an attorney knows of contrary case law. If so, I would like to see it posted. But generally it would appear that this daughter had no legal duty to stop the mom - at least not with the facts that we know at this point.

I would agree that if the daughter had the power to stop the mom from killing the workers and did not exercise that power then she acted immorally. That doesn't mean she acted illegally.

Of course, this is all just hypothetical BS and speculation at this point. None of us have the facts to know how this will play out under the law. It will be interested to see what Mr. Jones does with this case.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Ebyrd wrote: "I wish you and TJ would put some consideration into some of my questions instead of just branding both these women "losers.""

I am certainly willing to put some consideration into your questions, I wish you would ask yourself one question. Would you be as charitable and forgiving of this "innocent bystander" if it were your husband, brother or father that has been stolen from you in such a violent and senseless way?

The high road is easy to take when you have nothing invested in the situation.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

stuckinthemiddle wrote: "ebyrdstarr I believe you will be proven correct: as I don't think they'll be able to get a conviction on the aiding a felon charge:"

Sadly, I agree that that may be the final legal outcome, but that doesn't make it right.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ_in_Lawrence Then, are you saying that outcome would be wrong? If so... how so?

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ - our fundamental disagreement is on the question of whether any of us are legally responsible for the actions of the people around us. Moral resposnsibility, we may not be that far apart on. But I refuse to hold the passenger in a car criminally responsible for the actions of the driver unless and until the state proves to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the passenger aided or encouraged the driver in those actions. In this case, if the County Attorney's evidence of aid is that she didn't get her mother to stop the car, that's a slam-dunk not guilty verdict from me.

I don't think it's as easy as you assert to remove oneself from any and all criminal elements in the world. Underage drinking, pot smoking, speeding, forgetting to renew car registration. These are just some of the fairly minor criminal violations that our friends and acquaintances might commit. Do I really have to stop hanging around with my friends who smoke weed? I don't allow it at my house or in my car, but does the fact that I maintain those friendships make me a hoodlum and at least partially guilty for their illegal behavior? I have a friend who drives fairly recklessly. Do I need to cut that person out of my life?

I don't think it's all that moral to cut oneself off completely from family members or friends who are troubled and do break the law. A daughter should not be required to cut off all ties with her crazy, reckless mother to avoid criminal punishment for her mother's actions.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Yes the daughter being declared innocent would be a farse. Legally she may have no culpability, but morally she is as guilty as sin and those men's blood is just as much her fault as it is the woman who was driving the truck.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Ebyrd:

Would you get into a car with one of your weed smoking friends who drives recklessly? If you did and someone else was runover and killed, would you feel no responsiblity at all?

I don't think I could live with myself.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Well some of you are going to be happy that I now have to get back to my other life....

Will catch up later...

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

No one is declared "innocent" in a court of law. They are presumed "innocent" and they are found "not guilty." While this may appear to be semantics, it is a substantive difference indicating simply that the state has failed to meet its burden.

On the same note, courts don't deal in issues of morality. It deals in law, in facts, and on occassion in justice. But morality is left to the preachers and the philosophers.

What would be a farce is if someone was found guilty of crime in a court of law not because they violated the law but because the jurors found their action or inaction to be immoral.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ wrote: I am certainly willing to put some consideration into your questions, I wish you would ask yourself one question. Would you be as charitable and forgiving of this "innocent bystander" if it were your husband, brother or father that has been stolen from you in such a violent and senseless way?

The high road is easy to take when you have nothing invested in the situation.


I hope you will take me at my word when I say that honestly, yes I believe I would feel the same if the killed worker were someone close to me.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

TJ_in_Lawrence All I can say is if you truly believe that you can be sure of that with the limited amount of information that you have right now: you should never be allowed to serve on a jury or otherwise ever have any authority or decision making responsibility over any other human being... in any situation... ever...

melsa 7 years, 3 months ago

I would like to say one thing to all of you. Perhaps you all missed the part in the article where it said that they were still trying to figure out which one of the two were driving the truck when they went speeding by my husband and the rest of the crew members with such wrecklessness. I don't really care whether or not the daugther is charged with a more serious charge or not. I feel that they should both be behind bars for a very long time. They took the lives of two very young wonderful men. Men that were trying to do their jobs and provide for their families at home. Rolland was expecting his first child and now his wife has to raise their child without him and explain later in that babys life why daddys not there. Them women had no care in the world who they hit as long as it was someone.

Tammy Yergey 7 years, 3 months ago

I remember the comment about the van, too.

Retta, are you out there? Did you say that it looked like a van was pursuing the truck?

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

stuck...........nor should you ever be able to serve on a jury in any situation since you have already decided, with the limited amount of information you have, that they won't be able to get a conviction on the charge of aiding a felon. You disregard TJ's opinion on what should happen and justify your own opion on what will happen. You should NEVER be on a jury.

ebyrdstarr...........we all of have plenty of other things to do so I can do without your assumption that you are any "busier" than the rest of us. I do, however, think you should check your facts since I have never referred to either the mother or daughter as a "loser".

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

Ron is my cousin. I am tired of hearing all of these people saying "people should not have all these lynch mob mentalities". Ron has left a lot of family behind, his wife is expecting their first baby. This baby will never meet his/her daddy. He is a husband, father, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson. His wife just became a widow in her early twenties. Please put yourselves in our places and don't forget that these two murdered people are more than just names. As for the passenger, she did not try to tell her mother to stop while on the phone with 911. The only way that I will forgive her and hope that she gets off easier is if she works with the County Attorney's and tells the truth about what happened and put her mother away for life! Another thing that irritates me...None of us will be able to talk with Ron again, we're not even sure if we can have an open casket to properly tell him good-bye and get some closure...But they get to be handcuffed together and get to see each other. That is completely wrong. They should have to be kept separated!!!

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

shockchalk Not that you're paying attention enough to notice... but there's a difference in what I've posted about the case and what TJ has posted : I've stated what I ~believe~ will happen... TJ is saying what he thinks ~should~ happen... Big difference... For me... after all the facts are in I might very well think that the daughter should be convicted of all kinds of things... TJ doesn't want to wait for facts: he's already got both of these people convicted of murder:

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes the law isn't sufficient.

I say these two are Pieces of S..

And I'm entitled to my opinion.

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Melsa, you are right. It is presumptuous to assume the daughter was not driving in Douglas County and if that fact changes then so too would the discussion.

Assuming that the mom was driving in Douglas just as she was in Osage and that the daughter did call 911 but is being charged as aiding in a felony for being a "passenger in the truck and [doing nothing] to get her mother to stop during the chase" then much of the discussion above seems pretty on target as far as legal culpability.

None of us really know how the facts will develop, but Mr. Jones stated that the daughter "was told multiple times to have the driver stop. She did not do it." That does not create a duty under tort law, and I don't see how it does under the applicable criminal statutes, either.

Any attorneys out there have an idea about the criminality of the proposed factual situation?

Obviously, this situation is tragic. Seems like two good men lost their lives for no reason at all and now their families are left to carry on. The guilty should be put in jail and should pay restitution for the harm they have caused. But in terms of this discussion, the law has a structure in place to determine guilt and to determine the amount of compensation that is warranted. That process relies on known and trustworthy facts and until we have them we can discuss the law and teh morality of the situation, but would should not rush to a final judgment on guilt or remedy.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

shock- I didn't say I was any busier than anyone else, but you wrote a post specifically calling me out for not addressing things quickly enough. I was pointing out how unnecessary that was. Good grief, there's no reason to be so antagonistic.

And, yes, I know you didn't use the word "loser." That word has been used, though, and I was casually lumping several people in together. How silly of me to assume that all people on the same side in a debate share equal responsibility for all words used and all ideas expressed. I really need to work on not lumping people together like that.

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr you said that you would feel that way if it was someone close to you. Do you have kids? What if it was your son that got killed, or your wife? (or husband, sorry I don't know your gender) What if it was you and your family was the ones left behind with nothing? Would you still have the same views if you put more of a human perspective on this than just the law books. No matter what the law says, how would you feel?

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

To all of you who are saying the daughter did nothing wrong and shouldn't be charged with the crime due to her mothers actions......you are wrong. Yes, it was her mother who was driving, but like they say over and over, the 911 operator told the daughter to tell the driver to stop, and she did not do this. I don't care who was driving, you better believe if they hit a person, or TWO people, I would be screaming at the top of my lungs and doing everything in my power to get them to stop. Even if it was my mother driving. Innocent people don't just sit and do nothing. The daughter has many things on her record. Her criminal record includes negligent driving, assault/malicious mischief and assault on an officer. This girl is just as guilty as her mother. What is the best predictor of what someone will do?......Their past. She is far from a sweet innocent girl. jeri_cat --- I totally agree with you. The daughter only started crying when she was talking about not having the money for the bond. She doesn't care one bit about those two men who lost their lives or their families who lost their loved ones.

farmgal 7 years, 3 months ago

If mom was indeed driving, I'm betting the daughter was more afraid of her mother than of what would happen later if she didn't try to stop her mom. Looking at mom's picture, she has the soul-less eyes of a mean person. I bet her daughter has seen the back of her mom's hand many, many times over. Still, at the end of the day, the daughter, as adult, has to be held accountable for her part.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

We_Love_Ron, I am so sorry for you and your families loss. He sounds like a wonderful man that will be missed by many people. You have been robbed of your time with him because of the horrible choices these two women made. With time and Gods grace, your pain will be lessened. Your goal to forgive these women is admirable and I hope in time, you will be able to.

They will both have some time to reflect on their decisions that day and hopefully, they will seek forgiveness from your family as well as the other. I am sorry you have to listen to a few posts from people defending the non-action of the passenger as I'm sure it only adds to your pain.

acg 7 years, 3 months ago

OMG one of them has an unborn child? This just gets worse and worse (not that it wasn't unbelievably horrible before). I'm so so sorry that this has happened to you, friends and fam of the deceased. How incredibly unfair that this man never got to meet his baby. Now I'm even madder about this than I was before and I didn't think that was possible.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr makes quite a stretch when he says he honestly thinks he would feel the same even if the worker was someone close to him? Really? Two people intentionally mow down someone you love, cherish, and care about deeply.....then show NO remorse whatsoever about the two lives that were lost. And then, started trying to minimize the entire, horrific event by saying............if it did happen (daughter) or I didn't hit no one, just metal barricades (mother). But that wouldn't change your opinion on who was responsible for the tragic loss of life? You sound very callous if that is the case.

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

Sorry for the long pause I had to take a break to cry some more. All this is so hard, I just don't want to believe that any of this is true or could even be possible. She is a monster, she grabbed his life away from him way too soon. He will never see his baby grow up, get married, or have their own babies! It's not fair. Why do the good ones have to die young, and this monster gets to live??? Thank you all for your support and for letting me vent!

We_Love_Ron 7 years, 3 months ago

acg Ron is my cousin, he has an unborn child on the way, this is his first child, and he will never get to meet that child. Furthermore, his wife has already had 2 other miscarriages and I pray that all this stress will not rob another child from her, especially when this is really all she has left of him.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

Ron - first, I'm very sorry for what has happened to your cousin. We all agree it was a senseless tragedy.

I always find it troubling when people assume that I would feel differently about something if I had kids, if I were married, if it were my family member. I know myself well enough to know how I assess blame and how I react to emotional impacts. I have had people close to me be killed in car accidents, solely due to the fault of another person. I have always felt terrible for that other person. Now, the driver here, I wouldn't feel so terrible (there's a level of disregard here that did not occur in those other accidents). But the passenger, I would definitely feel badly for the passenger. And I would not blame the passenger, unless as I said before there was proof that she actively aided or encouraged the driver.

I am putting quite a human perspective into this. I really do put a lot of thought and feeling into these types of topics.

acg 7 years, 3 months ago

You know ebyrdstarr, I didn't feel so strongly about things that involved children or robbed children of their parents until I had children of my own. Don't get me wrong, before I had kids, and I was see something awful on the news (child killed, molested, etc.) I would horrified by it but it didn't touch me as deeply as it does now. I'm not sure if my hormonal system has changed since becoming a mom or what, but now that I have kids, when you bring children into a situation, whatever it may be, it really gets me now. Things that I would just find awful and move on from now make me cry and fill me with rage. Do you have kids, yet? Maybe it's hard to understand unless you've held your own child in your arms and rocked them and loved them. Once you become a parent, kids take on a whole new meaning. I didn't believe it when people told me it would happen to me, but it did. Not lecturing you, just offering a differing perspective on why it may seem to anger people even more to find out that Ron had a child on the way.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr..........(there's a level of disregard here that did not occur in those other accidents). From all of the eyewitness accounts, this tragedy was not an accident. It's not as if she casually crossed over the yellow line. I'll skip the details but they are easy to find and this was intentional, not accidental. We are fortunate there weren't 4 (or even more) deaths instead of 2. You say you feel badly for the passenger as I'm sure many of us do to some extent. However, it is ridiculous and callous to insinuate that she has no responsibility for what happened. We all have choices and she made several bad ones on this day. Not doing anything to stop her mom was a choice. You sound fairly intelligent so I am amazed that you are not putting a lot of thought or feeling into the fact that neither mother or daughter have shown a hint of remorse for the deaths they caused. Their statements even challenge that the tragedy ever happened but you maintain no fault for the passenger. Are you not bothered by the fact she isn't even sorry for the deaths of these two men? She says.........."if it even happened" and you wonder why people are upset when they comment on this tragedy. It seems to me you have too much pride to admit you haven't put enough thought, feeling, or human perspective in this.

SloMo 7 years, 3 months ago

It seems to me that there may have been another party (van driver) involved in all of this. Isn't anyone else, other than middle and horsegirl and me, curious about that? Was there really a van chasing the truck? If so, why? And (if said van really exists) where was it when the workers got hit?

I'm also curious about what the younger Morgan said when she called 911. Maybe she said something about a van chasing them. I wonder if they'll release a transcript.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

acg, the thing that I reject is the notion that the response of a childless person is in any way less valid or perhaps less true than those that have kids. I will not answer whether I have kids or not, in part because I do not want to give out any such personal information on an anonymous discussion board, but also because I have never given any credence to the notion that anyone's opinion should be given less or more weight solely based on familial status.

And, yes, I absolutely agree that it heightens the tragedy that Ron has a child on the way and that both of them are so young and had so much life in front of them. I feel very strongly, though, that it is inappropriate to allow our anger over Ron's unborn child to affect the way we use the criminal justice system to mete out punishment to those involved in the incident. The driver should not be let off easier if Ron did not have a child on the way, right?

Shockchalk has called me callous, apparently for not expressing the sort of anger and vitriol he does. The fact that I do not feel anger and a need for vengeance does not make me unfeeling. I feel very deeply about this tragedy. Obviously I do or I wouldn't have spent so much time posting about it. I just don't want to live in a society that bases its criminal punishments on anger and vengeance. I want our criminal justice system to devise fair punishments, free from passion. From what little I know about this case so far, the fair response to me is to punish the driver.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

SloMo I think it could be extremely important... I just went back and re-read retta's comments from Tuesday... on the original article about the event... I won't cut and paste it without retta's permission but I recommend that everyone interested in the facts of what happened go back and read retta's discription of what happened and what the flag person, who was also injurred told her... retta was right behind the Morgans' truck when they crashed past/through the flag person...

Newell_Post 7 years, 3 months ago

As horrible as this is for the families and the co-workers, I must say I also feel at least a little sorry for the daughter. She has obviously been living under the thumb of a sociopathic alkie Mom her entire life. The photo says it all. Nick should win some kind of award for that one; maybe not for artistic merit, but in the "picture tells a thousand words" category. You can just hear the daughter thinking "Oh, $h1+. Mom finally screwed up so bad she can't lie her way out of this one and I'm totally hosed for life." It's no excuse for not trying to do something to get Mom to stop, but it is what it is.

The Mom shouldn't be executed. She shouldn't get off that easy...

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

This is not about anger, vengeance, or vitriol as you would like everyone to believe. It's about taking responsibility for one's actions. The fact that you won't respond to direct questions about the facts around this case makes me, as well as others, question whether or not you really do want to discuss this in an open and honest way. You appear to only want to protect your opinion by avoiding talking about the facts or trying to make it sound like the rest of us are just an angry mob. Anyone can read from here up and see that this is not the case. You fail to comment on the fact that these women have shown NO remorse for killing these two men and have even questioned whether or not it happened. With each post, you sound less and less credible and more like someone so full of their own pride, the cannot fathom admitting they are wrong. As far as the post from acg.....it has nothing to do with someones opinion having less or more weight because they have children. It has to do with the fact that people look at things differently AFTER they have children and have a different prespective on life, or the loss of it. It's not more or less important than anyone else, just different. You must not have much care or concern about the lives of these two men and their families or you would be bothered by the fact that mother and daughter have shown no remorse at all for their deaths. The fact that you wrote about this as if it was a traffic accident is a disgrace to those who lost their lives.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr There's not much point discussing any matter with anyone who pretends to know what you think and feel... It started with the Morgans, and now he/she is omnipotent of all that is in your mind and heart:

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

Well well stuck...........you seem to have a pointed opinion about how all of us think and feel as well as the passenger in the truck. Perhaps it is you, that should quit discussing and just go away.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, stuck. I had just decided I wasn't going to respond to one person's posts anymore. Though I'm really dying to point out that I addressed the daughter's denial much earlier and from a criminal law perspective, whether either of them expresses remorse now that they have been charged with a crime is really irrelevant to what each woman's intent was during the actual incident. And, by the way, I am fairly confident that if they did express remorse, some posters would probably just cynically declare they were trying to save their bacon and dismiss it as phantom remorse. But as you point out, any further attempts by me to justify my thoughts and opinions to that poster are probably futile.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

shockchalk I have no idea what is in anyone here's heart and mind... or in the hearts and minds of the Morgans... Here's your chance to admit the same...

auntie_em98 7 years, 3 months ago

I am the wife of another co-worker of Ron's. All I have to do is look into my husbands eyes and see his pain, all I have to do is look into melsa's husbands eyes and see his pain, and all I have to do is look in Ron's parents' eyes and see their pain to know that I want both of these women to spend the rest of thier days behind bars in 2 separate jails, never to see each other again.

We_Love_Ron- I am so deeply sorry for your loss, he was a great man. He is a true hero in my eyes. His job was long, hot, and hard. He was loved by many at work, and he will be greatly missed.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 3 months ago

what an amazingly shocking event!

We-love-ron and other family of the two who were so carelessly mowed down, I am very sorry that our community has suddenly become the place of your tremendous loss. I hope that our D.A. here will try both the mother and the daughter to the fullest extent the law ever allows because these two men's lives meant something precious. they were killed because they were working hard to provide for their families and make a way in the world. God grant you comfort in this time of aweful loss!


I do hope that the DG Co D.A. really doesn't funble this and we don't get some weak-kneed judge here. wonder if mom can be charged with first or second degree homicide? any one?


finally, LJW: we wish much more info on the following.
what did these two "farmers" do in the days leading up to this horrible event, i.e. buy truck in SDak etc.? can you confirm this was the second time through the work zone for them? what did the daughter say on the 9-1-1 call after the chase had begun? this seems to indicate a lack of concern on her part for what mom had just done. are there alcohol or other substances involved?
why, if they were headed for MO were they on Hwy#59 headed south, and perhaps previously north? does that mean they had contacts in Franklin county or further south?

... LJW, please please some more reporting is seriously needed!

about_that_baby 7 years, 3 months ago

To those of you who are on here, concerned about the families who have lots a loved one. I have thought about starting a bank account that people would be able to donate money to Ron's wife to help with her unborn child. Would any of you be willing to donate? I would like to see if this would be a great benefit, or just a waste of time. Thank you.

auntie_em98 7 years, 3 months ago

Umm, just a quick comment on the van. Hello this construction was on a busy road, the Ramona's truck was far from the only vehicle on the road, of course she was being followed by something, I am followed to and from work every day, everytime I go to the store. I don't freak out and speed through a construction zone just because there are other cars on the road.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

"fines double in work zones", doesn't that apply to these witches? So far, the prosecutors are charging them with silly stuff. They'd better not get off with some kind of a charge less than murder.

yayamama 7 years, 3 months ago

As I go through and read these comments that debate back and forth on whether there is any remorse, then I read that this woman has used a vehicle as a weapon before I don't understand how any excuss can be made for either one of them. The daughter knows her mother better than any report we have seen, and I am sure she know about her previous record as well, not to mention her own charges of violence against people driving on the roads.....she took a mail box after people driving by her. These were COVICTIONS! So obviously she isn't so sweet and innocent. i don't think that there is any regret from either one of them, except for the regret for getting caught. The big picture is these women BOTH commited this hideous crime then continued to drive on, not just a little ways but into a completely different county. they had to drive through several small towns in which the speed limit is reduced to 20, if she were so unwilling surely a rational person would have utilized that opportunity and saved themselves at that time. But again how can we be talking about rational people. Not either of them. They both made their own choices, and apparently from their past history, penalties were not stiff enough in Washington...lets hope Kansas is able to make examples of them. My prayers go out to the family.

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

kneejerkreaction--- Those are just the charges for Osage county. It is Douglas county that will have thje murder charge against them because they hit and killed those men in Douglas County. They were just caught in Osage county so that is why they are just charging them with the traffic violations they committed in that county.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

saintzfam, ok, thx. How about the doubling of the murder charge because it was a work zone?

costello 7 years, 3 months ago

"Hello this construction was on a busy road, the Ramona's truck was far from the only vehicle on the road, of course she was being followed by something"

Yes, but all the traffic going in the same direction as the Morgans (south) was stopped for the construction. This work zone was the kind where one whole lane is shut down. So traffic going north and traffic going south have to take turns. When the Morgans ran through, all the southbound traffic had been brought to a halt to allow the northbound traffic through. So the Morgans were driving through the work zone illegally. They actually ran into the woman holding the stop sign - injuring the woman and breaking the sign post in half. [Did you even read the story?] If a van was following them, that van was driving through illegally too.

"I am followed to and from work every day, everytime I go to the store."

If you were driving the wrong way down a one way street, it would be surprising if you were being followed. If you entered the interstate on the off-ramp, probably no one would be behind you. This is the equivalent of these two scenarios.

costello 7 years, 3 months ago

Sorry for accusing you of not reading the story, auntie_em. I see the details I mentioned aren't in this story. I know them from the other stories, remarks for other posters, and the fact that I'm familiar with that stretch of road.

The Kansas City Star described it this way:

"The speed limit on U.S. 59 is 55 mph, Jacks said. Work-zone traffic was restricted to one lane Tuesday.

"Workers at each end took turns stopping traffic. With traffic stopped in one direction, a pilot car would lead vehicles from the opposite direction through the work zone. The pilot car then would turn around to lead vehicles from the other direction.

"Jacks said his crew gave this account following the crash:

"On Tuesday morning, a northbound truck came through the work zone at a high rate of speed.

"A foreman spoke with a Transportation Department employee on the scene about alerting the Highway Patrol, but Jacks said he did not know whether the call was made.

"About 45 minutes later the truck returned, this time traveling south. It went around a line of stopped cars and knocked a stop sign out of a female crew member's hand.

"The truck continued into the work zone, where it hit Korte and Griffith." (http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/273039.html)

The Wichita paper says this:

"Jacks said employees at the site told him it was the second time the Morgans' Chevy truck had driven through the work zone that morning.

"The pickup had first gone north through the work zone at about 9 a.m., driving around a line of vehicles awaiting the pilot vehicle and the flagger at the south end of the zone. The pickup nearly ran over a foreman, Jacks said.

"About 45 minutes later, the pickup returned and drove around another line of waiting vehicles.

"'Our flagger, in an attempt to stop them, held the stop and slow paddle in front of their pickup,' Jacks said.

"The pickup struck the sign without slowing, he said, then drove more than a mile to where Korte and Griffith were working with the paving machine, which was grinding old asphalt and putting down a fresh layer." (http://www.kansas.com/news/story/173864.html)

about_that_baby 7 years, 3 months ago

kneejerkreaction--- I second that thought!

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

No kidding. At the least, they should never see the outside world again.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

These women are poster people for "no one feels sorry for you". What a pair of miscreants. And without a twinge of remorse. But wait until the hammer falls, they'll be very remorseful and I hope the judge/jury doesn't listen. These two are without any saving grace, and they need to be taken out of society for good.

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

It actually wouldn't surprise me if they never said anything about being sorry for what happened. I would almost bet that those two will be the type that claim to be innocent forever, and act like THEY are the victims. They don't seem to have the common sense to figure out that they are not going to get out of this one.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

I suppose IF they can convince everyone that they truly thought they had hit a steel barracade (two barracades) and that's why they didn't stop, then perhaps they could get a lesser charge. But, how many reasonable people wouldn't have stopped after they thought they hit a steel barricade? None, I'g guess. Nope, they knew exactly what they had done and chose to try and get away, rather than stop and help. Social scum needs to be skimmed off once it floats to the top.

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

My thoughts exactly! They know what they did. Who continues driving when they smash the whole front of their vehicle up and the window they have to look out to see where they are going? I would have to say, only a crazy person who is guilty of a terrible thing, LIKE MURDER!! Oh, but according to them, they were being chased and someone was trying to kill them......GIVE ME A BREAK!!

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

Add to all that a $700 remote a worker bounced off their windshield. When they get out, in 500 years, the hags can then repay the $700 remote, which, by calculating the future cost of money, should be worth about $2mm.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

....anyway, at bail of $2mm and $1mm, it sounds as if the judge is on to their game.

saintzfam 7 years, 3 months ago

They are just to dumb to figure out that nobody is buying their story.

hottruckinmama 7 years, 3 months ago

after reading that the daughter had been charged with malicious mischief and the mother had been charged with numerous things it makes me wonder if these 2 nutty heifers weren't on some bizarre "thelma and louise" trip cross country. we may never know. normally i detest police violence. but if the officers would have had to have shot them to stop them, it wouldn't have been a bad thing in my opinion.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Ebryd wrote: " I want our criminal justice system to devise fair punishments, free from passion. "

What is a fair punishment for killing two other human beings, and how can any punishment in this situation begin to be "fair"? Seems to me that these two men who died have been cheated out of life and there is no way to make it "fair".

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Stuck in the middle wrote: "TJ_in_Lawrence All I can say is if you truly believe that you can be sure of that with the limited amount of information that you have right now: you should never be allowed to serve on a jury or otherwise ever have any authority or decision making responsibility over any other human being: in any situation: ever:"

Why, because I dare to disagree with you? Let me tell you something, If anything like this ever happens to any of my loved ones, I am going to hope and pray that you don't serve on the jury. I am sure by the time all is said and done, you could find some excuse to let the killers walk free.

rip_ty 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank-you for your support and prayers for my cousin. All we can do now is keep them in our thoughts and pray - not only for my cousin Ty and the other man - but for the two women as well. Most of us want the worst possible sentence for what these two women did, but we should think to ourselves WWJD. Jesus would pray for the victims and for the one's responsible for this terrible accident.

M.T.B.

shockchalk 7 years, 3 months ago

ebyrdstarr..............too bad your not dying to point out that you are completely wrong to believe the daughter has NO responsibility for the deaths of those two men. You stated that she did all she should have done and nobody on this thread (except for stucky) is buying that. She had numerous choices that day and the years before it, and she has shown, time and time again, her diregard for the law, life, and other people. I'm not surprised you quit posting because all of your weak arguments and excuses for this pair have fallen on deaf ears. The fact that you are too full of pride to admit you were wrong says a lot about the person you are.........and aren't.

black_butterfly 7 years, 3 months ago

First I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to the families of the two men who were killed. I can not even begin to imagine what they must be going through right now.

I sure am glad that the article indicated which was the mother and which was the daughter because the daughter looks as old as the mother!

Although I agree that a lot more investigation should take place, I do believe that the daughter should be held responsible for the crime just as her mother. Why didn't she tell her mother to stop when the dispatch personnel could hear her. Did the vehicle not slow down enough during the chase (when they were killing people, breaking construction signs and hitting barricades) for the daughter to jump out? I would rather risk a broken arm and leg than risk being killed firey crash or shot by the police as the result of a high speed chase. She is not a minor. She is an adult. This is no different than when a car load of thugs participate in a drive by shooting, ALL of them are held responsible, not just the shooter! Go for the max in charges and jail time on this one!

I think the tears in the photo are nothing more than tears of distress of getting caught, and the realization of spending a very long time in Jail. I seriously doubt if it was remorse for what had happened.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 3 months ago

What I find most curious is why the daughter called 9-1-1 in the first place. If the excuse she wants us to believe is that her mother accidentally hit a couple of metal barricades in a highway work zone, then why flee the scene? Hitting two metal barricades, although serious enough to rate a traffic ticket, pales to insignificance compared to striking two human beings.

The 9-1-1 call leads me to suspect that the daughter/passenger, in those first post-impact moments, was deliberately trying to aid her mother's defense by establishing the alibi: "metal barricades is all we hit." But that dog don't hunt. There's no way a driver steering a vehicle on a straight ahead course in broad daylight collides with two people who are standing on the roadway and does not know it was human beings she just ran over.

There is also little chance that a front seat passenger in such a vehicle could be ignorant of what kind of "objects" the driver just hit. This is particularly true if, seconds before entering the worker-filled zone, the passenger saw or heard the vehicle strike a traffic controller's hand-held warning sign. The sound of that impact alone would have caught the daughter's attention and focused her view straight ahead down the highay out of fear for what other objects the driver might strike next.

So I would speculate that the passenger saw exactly what happened, and came to the aid of the driver by making that 9-1-1 alibi call. Then, realizing how thin the alibi sounded, they decided the 9-1-1 call was a mistake and instead of stopping they made a run for it.

It would indeed by interesting to hear the actual 9-1-1 call, to study the caller's words and voice inflections. Also interesting will be the toxicology findings. From what I've read of meth's affects on users, the driver's behavior start to finish would fit the profile of a user who became paranoid, aggressive, angry and uncontrollably impatient.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

riverat (Anonymous) says: It would indeed by interesting to hear the actual 9-1-1 call, to study the caller's words and voice inflections. Also interesting will be the toxicology findings.


Fascinating. Then can we just hang 'em?

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

Will no one take the time to even attempt to understand the law involved in this situation and how it applies to the facts?

Crap. Not only is the impusliveness of yesteryear's lynch mobs alive and well so is the willful ignorance of the law.

angels_n_waiting 7 years, 3 months ago

All of the thoughtful comments are great, and appreciated. If you really want to do something great about this tragedy then respond to this.

A memorial has been established with the El Dorado Animal Clinic and the Griffith family assistance fund with any Bank of America. Contributions may be left with the Kirby-Morris Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to www.kirbymorrisfuneralhome.com.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

Baille (Anonymous) says: Will no one take the time to even attempt to understand the law involved in this situation and how it applies to the facts? Crap. Not only is the impusliveness of yesteryear's lynch mobs alive and well so is the willful ignorance of the law.


Baille, I, like many of the people who have posted have no faith in the law to dispense justice. Courtrooms are theatrical gaming fields with diametrically opposed opinions, each side working toward "winning" the case. A lot of total BS happens in courtrooms with absolute disregard for justice, so tell me, aside from "it's the best system we have", why should people be patient with this situation where the facts are so overwhelming? Spare me the theater, just send these hags away. It's not ignornace of the law, when the public was ignorant of the law, there was some respect. If anything, the lack of respect for the law and lawyers comes from information, not ignorance.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

Besides, Baille, unless these two have enough money to buy their justice, their courtroom appearances will be shortlived.

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

The "failings" of our criminal justice system or whether you thik due process is important is beyond the scope of my criticism.

You want to send the "hags" away. Most people want to "stone them" both, lynch them, or pull the switch on both of them - and yet there is little understanding of whether a person can be held responsible for failing to act, what it takes to aid or abet, and the distinctions between the various forms of murder and manslaughter. Not only is there little understanding of these basic principles of criminal law, there has been absolutely no attempt to understand the whys of the laws involved.

Hell we haven't even waited for the facts to come out before deciding the facts are "overwhelming" and "applying" them to a law we don't know or understand.

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