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Archive for Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Accident report blames semi driver for deadly 23rd Street motorcycle accident

We're learning more about the fatal accident involving a motorcycle and a semi truck.

July 22, 2008

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The driver of a semitrailer involved in a fatal motorcycle crash at Clinton Parkway and Iowa Street made an improper turn, failed to yield the right of way, and disregarded traffic signs, signals or markings, according to a Lawrence Police accident report.

Douglas Puckett, 43, of Portage, Ind., was killed when his motorcycle collided with the semitrailer at the intersection July 15. Police said Puckett was traveling east on Clinton Parkway and crashed into the semitrailer turning south onto Iowa Street.

Police identified the driver of the semitrailer as Daniel L. Arnold, 52, of Texas. Police are completing their investigation, which will be sent to the Douglas County District Attorney for consideration of charges.

Comments

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 1 month ago

Contrary to the sloppy, kneejerk, popular opinion, the vast majority of accidents involving trucks are not the truck driver's fault. Many of these accidents are due to car driver (4-wheeler) impatience with slower moving trucks and not giving them the room that they require. yes, there are some real wannabe cowboys and Rambo's driving these things, but the drivers are mostly very conscientious.

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M. Lindeman 6 years, 1 month ago

Confrontation, OnlyTheOne I will give you the benefit of having a lack of knowledge, but honestly I think you both are idiots. I think before you can make a statement concerning anything about trucking. You should maybe gets some real life facts on the industry as it is today. NOT what you may have seen in a movie or old stories from the past. I have been in the business going on 20 yrs. I will tell you, there isn't the hopped up, multi license drivers on the road today. All commercial drivers are subjected to random drug tests, trucking companies randomly get all there drivers logs audited. The Department of Transportation enforces there rules to the letter. Next time you two are at that intersection, pay attention to that left turn light. If your in a semi-truck, when you get the green arrow. That light will be red before you have gotten fully out of the intersection. Compound that by having the two people involved from out of town. People that use that intersection, already know the issues 23rd and Iowa have. Those two poor souls didn't and now one has lost his life and the other has to live with that for the rest of his. Please educate yourself better before commenting on something you know nothing about. Remember 73% of car, semi-truck accidents were the fault of the people operating the cars. Have a better day and God bless

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Eric Neuteboom 6 years, 1 month ago

Some idiot almost whacked into me this morning at this intersection! I guess it would be far too logical to expect the police to, you know, police this area after a fatal accident happened there.

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50YearResident 6 years, 1 month ago

I was having breakfast at Perkins at 10 AM and in the 30 minutes it took to eat I counted 25 Semis traveling on 23rd Street.Build the By-Pass and end this madness............

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Michael Sizemore 6 years, 1 month ago

Build the SLT = Cut the number of semis driving through town!

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davehahn99 6 years, 1 month ago

Oops - guess I failed the google test. The accident report is available at http://reports.lkpd.org/search/

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opie8 6 years, 1 month ago

davehahn99...nice link to the lawrence massachusetts PD!

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Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't say that they ignore the rules, but that the lifestyle forces them into a constant state of sleep deprivation and heavy stress. The high gas prices make things even worse now, as it cuts their narrow profit margins. I usually have little trouble with truckers, unless they are local truckers. Long range truckers are usually fine, as long as you know the rules of the road.

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Quigly 6 years, 1 month ago

OMG are you people serious? semi drivers tend to ignore the rules? He only cares about his freedom?? You are joking right. Do you people have any idea what it is like driving one of those trucks. No you don't. If you did you wouldn't be talking smack. You people disgust me. What year do you think this is? 1950? this is 2008 and the rules for driving a semi are alot more stringent then ever. Do you really think that truckers take a slower stop and go route through town because of police and tolls? Are you people high? That intersection is horrible all around. And if anything it is the car traffic and jerkwads who are in a hurry to get to the game or the bar or where ever they need to go. Just because they said it was the trucks fault does not mean that he ran the light on purpose . Maybe he did maybe he didn't. In any case you people need to shut your pie holes and think about what you say before you put it in post, It make s you all look like morons. These are the people that bring you your burgers for McDonald and brings all of your supplies for wall mart and everything you all live on. It is disgusting to read the insinuations and just outright pitiful remarks posted here. I feel sorry for both biker and trucker. It is a very sad day for both families and I highly doubt that the trucker does not feel bad for what happened. OnlytheOne, I don't even know what to say to stupid trolls like yourself except that only a looser and an idiot would say crap like that.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 1 month ago

When you drive a lot - as in "for a living" - you can become impatient. He probably did this a hundred times before, as many other truckers do; but this time...

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Keith 6 years, 1 month ago

'slower moving trucks"Funniest thing I read all day.

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supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

Someone will have to explain to me what happened exactly. Was the Semi going west on 23rd street and turned south onto Iowa? I guess I am trying to figure out how that works because if the light was green right before the semi turned then the traffic going east on Clinton Parkway would have been stopped or at least slowed? Just want to know more details.

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person184 6 years, 1 month ago

We don't know the trucker and we can't make assumptions. I would bet that he is in a lot of pain because of his mistake. Prayers and sympathies for both families.

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Michael Sizemore 6 years, 1 month ago

none2 - a haiku for you:truckers won't take 70that highway has cops and tollslawrence roads are freeour taxes pay for the upkeep.1 truck per minute is pretty accurate now...wait until the BNSF intermodal facility is complete...

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hellbilly_grrl 6 years, 1 month ago

I go through this intersection regularly, and it always amazes me how many cars continue to roll through the intersection after their light has turned red and the light for oncoming traffic has already turned green!!

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Confrontation 6 years, 1 month ago

This is absolutely no surprise. Semi drivers tend to ignore the rules, since they know we have to yield to their much larger vehicles.

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OnlyTheOne 6 years, 1 month ago

Kill a biker. Go to jail.Quoting startsI feel sorry for the semi-driver who has to lived with the fact that he killed someone. <<<Yes, that poor, poor man, killing another human being and having to live with it.Quoting endsDo you folks really think this guy cares one iota?! The only thing he cares about is what it's going to do to his freedom, if anything, his wife and kids (if he has any) and his future $$$. Oh yes, I almost forgot he cares about how much his attorney will cost.

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Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 1 month ago

"I guess it would be far too logical to expect the police to, you know, police this area after a fatal accident happened there."What do you want them to do? Hold your hand and help you cross the street?

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stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 1 month ago

OnlyTheOneand you know this only because it is the only thing you would care about if in the same situation...

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Tammie Bryant 6 years, 1 month ago

This stupid town has prohibited Semi's from using 31st St. Why? It is logical for Trucks to use 31st street and avoid all the local traffic. I think Lawrence should take some of the blame here. This truck driver is 52 yrs old. I doubt he is so inexperienced that he would purposely run a red light. That light only lets a few people through. He probably started his turn during a yellow light and it changed to a red midway. I have done it and so has a lot of other people in this town.

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Eric Neuteboom 6 years, 1 month ago

No, haiku, I want the police to ticket those who run any red light at that intersection. But far be it from me to interrupt your attempts at "humor" or whatever it is you call it.

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yankeelady 6 years, 1 month ago

I think the reason they banned semis from 31st St is that it is not able to handle that kind of traffic, especially the weight of all those semis. The section thru the swamp isn't in that great shape as it is. Run a bunch of semis on it and it will be more washboarded with tons of potholes. Plus the fact that at certain times of day it is stop and go almost the entire length of the road. It may be used as a bypass for a lot of folks, but it isn't one.

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davehahn99 6 years, 1 month ago

Is the police report publicly available? http://www.lawpd.com/information/autoaccidents.htmI'd like to know if the helmet at the scene was worn or just on the back of the bike and thrown off.My sympathies to the families of both people involved.

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Danielle Brunin 6 years, 1 month ago

I feel sorry for the semi-driver who has to lived with the fact that he killed someone. I can't imagine how horrible that would be. He made a mistake and now his family and the family of the victim are suffering because of it. I guess at least he stopped and showed a little humanity, as opposed to the drunks who killed people and drove away so that they wouldn't get in trouble. So very sad...

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compmd 6 years, 1 month ago

Proud day for the state of Texas, both Breaking News articles today are about Texans who came to Lawrence and did something stupid.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, Mr. Puckett couldn't yield in time himself and now his family is left with nothing more than the knowledge that at least it wasn't his fault.

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M. Lindeman 6 years, 1 month ago

Anonymous userOldEnuf2BYurDad (Anonymous) says:When you drive a lot - as in "for a living" - you can become impatient. He probably did this a hundred times before, as many other truckers do; but this time:And you have this knowledge HOW? How many years have you operated one or are you just talking out of your a$$?

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1Patriot 6 years, 1 month ago

Aw come people! Keep insisting they fix that intersection and we'll have the biggest d** round-a-bout this town has seen!

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Solutions101 6 years, 1 month ago

I would consider this accident to be a fault of the State of Kansas and the City of Lawrence. They have Highway 59 and K-10 merging in the middle of Lawrence. There should be no need for semi-drivers and other K-10 bound vehicles to have to navigate through the city. It decreases fuel mileage considerably to semi-drivers and creates an overflow of traffic. This slows traffic tremendously; hence, the left-turning light has a high possibility of changing before a semi-trailer can be positioned completely within the southbound K-10 traffic. A cyclist acknowledges the risks when he/she gets on a bike, nevertheless, driving it through the intersection of Highway 59 and K-10 during rush hour at 5:00 p.m. All cyclists must pay more attention as they should always be driving defensively. The cyclist is responsible for his/her actions with the decision to get on a bike.As to say that the driver of the semi-trailer is at fault for this accident is a complete stretch when considering the whole scenario with an accident-prone location and a motorcycle. Note: If there is one expenditure our tax money should be going to is the roads to provide safer transportation. Everyone uses the roads in one form or another. The roads should be the top priority of the government. Look at the roads and chunks of the few sidewalks in the City of Lawrence and the University of Kansas. Where are our tax dollars going?

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LA_Ex 6 years, 1 month ago

Solutions101 said:"A cyclist acknowledges the risks when he/she gets on a bike, nevertheless, driving it through the intersection of Highway 59 and K-10 during rush hour at 5:00 p.m. All cyclists must pay more attention as they should always be driving defensively. The cyclist is responsible for his/her actions with the decision to get on a bike.As to say that the driver of the semi-trailer is at fault for this accident is a complete stretch when considering the whole scenario with an accident-prone location and a motorcycle."You've got to be joking.Yes, a motorcyclist (cyclist rides a bicycle) does acknowledge a level of risk with their chosen mode of transportation. But nobody expects a 18-wheeler to come barreling down on them while they have a green light. The semi driver is at fault, cut and dry. I'd say it's just as important for a semi driver to be paying attention to the way they are driving considering the size of their vehicle. He killed a motorcyclist do to his neglect. It could have easily have been a mini-van full of kids. I'm sure they wouldn't have faired very well either. It's a matter of physics. If you are in a smaller vehicle and get creamed by a 18 wheeler, the 18 wheeler is going to win.Side note. I hope the people who were saying the motorcycle was at fault are eating their words. "I've created a new game, it's called Jump to Conclusions"-Office Space

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LA_Ex 6 years, 1 month ago

From the article: "...made an improper turn, failed to yield the right of way, and disregarded traffic signs, signals or markings, according to a Lawrence Police accident report."How about the driver of the large vehicle give everyone else the common courtesy of obeying the law and not driving like an idiot.

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shoffner 6 years, 1 month ago

b3 (Anonymous) says:... talk about lack of planning...b3: That is the understatement of a lifetime regarding the recent past and current direction by the city of Lawrence government.

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Solutions101 6 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence, KS was founded in 1854. The K-10 freeway was completed in 1984 to connect the EXISTING cities of Lawrence and Lenexa. Also, US 59 started in 1934. We pay enough taxes already!!! The solution is to have the government spend the money in the right areas. Obviously, seeing the roads in the City of Lawrence, they are not. Why would anyone be wiling to trust the government with MORE of our money if they will not spend it correctly right now? I agree with you in the fact that people have their heads up their a** and will not think ahead. Example, repaving asphalt roads every two years is not thinking ahead. The answer is steel-reinforced concrete roads. If we did not have the government hiring employees and instead have a private company doing the road construction, there would not be millions of dollars of construction equipment sitting on the side of torn out roads on the weekends. Road construction would be completely more quickly, efficiently and with more quality while the equipment would be paying for themselves. As with re-locating K-10, it will never happen anytime soon. Over half of the roads in Lawrence are bike-hazardous with poor drainage systems. We cannot even get descent local roads built, let alone a major construction with a goal accomplishment, e.g. the millions invested with the beginning construction through the Baker Wetlands. Good thinking with our tax dollars.

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KEITHMILES05 6 years, 1 month ago

I am surprised the cyclist didn't see this huge semi turning.It isn't like it is a small car but a pretty long truck. I wonder if he perhaps he was looking elsewhere and continued to go through the intersection.

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aeroscout17 6 years, 1 month ago

It isn't just truckers not yielding or stopping at red lights/stop signs. I have never lived in an area where there is such disregard for traffic control devices. Before you all judge, ask yourself if you come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign, even at night when there is no traffic. If you don't, there is no difference between you and the trucker except you have been lucky...

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a tragedy. I wasn't there, so I don't know what happened. Yes semi drivers do force things sometimes as they know they are bigger. But I also know, that the public knows that trucks are slower to get to speed than cars, and are less manuverable than cars, and yes cars take advantage of this to the point that if trucks don't do some of their "manuvers" they will never get that corner turned or get into the other lane that they need. I have ridden with truckers before and know this to be true. As usual it is not always as cut and dried as we would like to think. Not saying any of this was responsible in this accident.

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family 6 years, 1 month ago

Solutions101 said:"A cyclist acknowledges the risks when he/she gets on a bike, nevertheless, driving it through the intersection of Highway 59 and K-10 during rush hour at 5:00 p.m. All cyclists must pay more attention as they should always be driving defensively. The cyclist is responsible for his/her actions with the decision to get on a bike.As to say that the driver of the semi-trailer is at fault for this accident is a complete stretch when considering the whole scenario with an accident-prone location and a motorcycle."Would you be saying this if Doug was in a truck or a compact car? What if you were hit by the semi or what if the semi driver was you. No matter what vehicle you are driving you still have to obey the traffic laws. The purpose of these laws are to prevent accidents like this. Although there is a right to debate, place yourself in this exact position before you speak. Semi truck drivers also choose to place themselves in a risky position by driving these large trucks. Truck drivers as well as motorcyclists need to have a defensive driving mentality do to their decision to drive these vehicles. Just as you can believe the motorcyclists placed himself at risk I can believe the truck driver did the same. Individuals who get into any vehicle have to be aware of their surroundings. Regardless of what time it was and what intersection he was going through he was not a resident of this town so therefore he would have not known the patterns of this intersection. However, in any town you are in there are traffic laws. Regardless of who is deemed at fault is not the priority at this point.In the past blogs on this situation many had forgotten that lives have been changed. The natural way to deal with these tragedies is to place blame. So choose to speculate if you will but remember that these are real people who have to deal with this. The truck driver is on one end of this tragedy and my Uncle Doug is on the other end of this tragedy. No one really wins in this situation regardless of who you want to blame. Our family has been reading these articles and try's not to take them to heart ,however it is difficult to not respond to reactions like this. We feel for all involved in this incident. We too are interested in the articles and news broadcast being aired to keep up to date. There was a comment about the family and why they would be blogging at this time on a previous article. We did not imagine the amount of comments posted on this incident and some of us feel that we need to respond. The response has been overwhelming with both good and bad. Thanks again to all that have helped us.

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persevering_gal 6 years, 1 month ago

We need to install cameras at that this intersection that gets a nice shot of people running through red lights. Also, readjusting the signal light timing so more people can get through at a time would also be a great way for people to stop trying to beat the red light!!!

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TopJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Why would someone live in a place that they think "sucks?" Are you that insecure that you can't move somewhere else?

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lisa55 6 years, 1 month ago

In case anyone is truly interested in how the case is going you need to really pay attention to the police report. On the violation page you will see that it states "The Officers Opinions of Contributing Circumstances" This is the initial reporting officers opinion. Nowhere on the police report does it state that the semi driver is found at fault. The accident is still under investigation.To OnlyTheOne: Your statement :22 July 2008 at 2:58 p.m.OnlyTheOne (Anonymous) says: Kill a biker. Go to jail.Quoting startsI feel sorry for the semi-driver who has to lived with the fact that he killed someone. <<<Yes, that poor, poor man, killing another human being and having to live with it.Quoting endsDo you folks really think this guy cares one iota?! The only thing he cares about is what it's going to do to his freedom, if anything, his wife and kids (if he has any) and his future $$$. Oh yes, I almost forgot he cares about how much his attorney will cost.about the driver not caring ...worrying about the $$$$...caring only about how much the attorney will cost...I want you to know that he is devasted. How do I know this you ask? I am the sister of the driver and I am on the phone daily if not more than once daily with my brother. I am apaulled that you would make the assumption that another human being could not feel for what has happened here. A life was lost, another life has been changed. He does not sleep, he can't eat, he can't close his eyes without seeing the scene very vividly. So before you make comments about what my brother feels, you might want to get the facts first. Again....read the police report carefully. The report is not complete yet and the accident is still under investigation. Many agencies are involved, so trust me not one fact will be missed in the report once it is complete.I would like to thank all those who understand that it is not cut and dried. To posess a CDL license is not a Class C drivers license that can be held by anyone that can pass the written test and the driving test. To operate a Semi-Tractor/Trailer is not like operating a car. Read up on the operation, response time, gear changes in order to make a turn or to slow down should someone slam on the brakes in front of you. Do the homework. Once you know all of the facts, then you can form an accurate and educated opinion.I also feel that everyone needs to keep in mind that the family of Douglas Puckett is most likely reading all of this in search of answers and as caring human beings each of our thoughts and opinions on this blog should show respect for their loss and heartache.

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