Archive for Monday, October 27, 2008

Law enforcement patrols to increase on K-10 after spate of accidents

Emergency responders inspect the scene of a two-car accident that killed two people Saturday on K-10 west of the highway's intersection with Wakarusa Drive.

Emergency responders inspect the scene of a two-car accident that killed two people Saturday on K-10 west of the highway's intersection with Wakarusa Drive.

October 27, 2008, 4:04 p.m. Updated October 27, 2008, 7:28 p.m.


K-10 patrols increasing after spate of wrecks

K-10 has been a deadly stretch of highway this past week with three fatal accidents in a period of just six days. The accidents have officers increasing patrols. Enlarge video

Law enforcement will be increasing patrols on Kansas Highway 10 after four people died during a six-day period in three separate accidents on the Douglas County portions of the highway.

"The focal point just seems to be driver's error," said Kansas Highway Patrol Master Trooper Terry Berner. "People need to not only slow down, but drive more defensively."

The two most recent fatalities were on the western leg of K-10, the bypass that connects the Lecompton interchange of the Kansas Turnpike with Iowa Street. Both accidents, which were 1 1/2 miles apart, occurred when an eastbound driver struck a westbound vehicle in the westbound lane.

Two people died in a Saturday night crash, when the driver of an eastbound SUV crossed the center line and struck a pickup truck, the highway patrol said. Multiple law enforcement agencies, from as far away as Kansas City, received calls about the SUV's erratic driving, Berner said. The SUV was driven by Daniel J. Harpool, 51, of Lake Lotawana, Mo.

Berner said autopsy results are pending, but it appeared either alcohol, a medical condition or both contributed to the crash.

"Alcohol was present," he said.

Both vehicles were fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews responded to the scene, west of the highway's intersection with Wakarusa Drive. Harpool and the driver of the pickup, Allen L. Eastland, 59, of Lawrence, died in the crash.

Eastland was an employee of Kansas University for about 15 years. He was an electrician in the department of student housing for 10 years. Before that, he worked for Facilities Operations.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is asking anyone with information on the accident to call its headquarters in Topeka, at (785) 296-3102.

On Thursday, 21-year-old James Keeton Jr. was killed on the K-10 bypass when the car he was driving collided with another. Keeton was passing a limousine when he crashed into an oncoming car, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. Keeton was a junior at KU from Wichita and was majoring in biology and history.

The driver of the second car, Maria Thorson, a 25-year old KU doctoral student, was seriously injured. She was test driving a car with John Revenew, 56, a Crown Automotive salesman, who was also injured.

"I have not driven on that road since it happened," said John Ready, while gassing up his car Monday before heading to Keeton's funeral in Wichita. "I'm a little bit afraid to. I've been a lot more careful."

K-10's stretch east of Lawrence also had some serious accidents in the past week. On Oct. 20, Eudora resident Helen Moorhead was killed in a two-vehicle accident, which also seriously injured Errin Lang, 38, the driver of the second car. The KHP said Lang lost control of her car, crossed the median and hit Moorhead.

On Wednesday, a two-vehicle accident on K-10 at Franklin Road sent Stephanie Rush, 23, of Eskridge, to Overland Park Regional Medical Center with injuries.

The accidents on K-10 east of the city continued this week. At 12:30 a.m. Monday, a 19-year-old Lawrence man was taken to the hospital with injuries after a rollover accident on the highway. Authorities said Eric Heikkila, the driver, swerved to miss an animal in the roadway at mile marker 12, near Eudora.

Two KHP administrators visited the scenes of the accidents on the K-10 bypass Monday, Berner said. Douglas County sheriff's deputies and KHP troopers said they would be intensifying their patrols on both stretches of the highway because of the accidents.


Curtis Lange 9 years, 8 months ago

Again, nobody here said passing on the right was illegal.

compmd 9 years, 8 months ago

In Illinois, unnecessary travel in the passing lane is an enforced law. If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass you, you have a quarter mile to get over, otherwise you can get a ticket.A camera in the car? Anyone who thinks that is a good idea will get a lovely, comfortable seat on a rocket that I will launch into the sun.Temporary, marked speed cameras with ANPR would work very well on K10. They are extremely effective in the UK, and tolerant to 10% over plus 3.5mph. Tanaumaga, if I'm not mistaken, every state surrounding Kansas is a two-plate state.

countrygirl 9 years, 8 months ago

So what's up on K-10 this morning? I'm in the business park and just heard a bunch of sirens head east. Hope that all involved are Ok. We buried a good friend yesterday that lost her life out there just a week ago. Rest in peace Helen.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 8 months ago

appletreeandku: There is no 'fast' lane and 'slow' lane. There is a passing lane and a travel lane. The ONLY reason anyone should be in the passing lane is to shock pass another vehicle. As soon as that pass is made, it IS required they move back to the right to return to the travel lane.I've gotten over the shock of being able to drive from Lawrence to Kansas City solely in the travel lane because people will not move over.

KURocks 9 years, 8 months ago

shuddleston:Slower traffic is supposed to keep left???????

conservative 9 years, 8 months ago

Curtis Lange. Read confrontation's post from 10:52 P.M. He said the cops ticket people for passing on the right.

gccs14r 9 years, 8 months ago

Several of you need to read the KS statutes. Passing on the right is legal, as is regular travel in the left lane. What isn't legal is running two abreast to obstruct traffic.

kimee008 9 years, 8 months ago

Unfort., the morons causing these accidents probably do not read all of this. I mean come on why are these cars even in the other lane? Is this the new way to drive home drunk with out seeing cops? maybe someone needs to plant signs along the whole highway about the many deaths, Telling them to wake up, beware, hey stupid drive in your lane, don't even think about passing......

Steve Jacob 9 years, 8 months ago

"Multiple law enforcement agencies, from as far away as Kansas City, received calls about the SUV's erratic driving"Umm, was this before the accident? We saw what happened to the two workers on 59, police need to stop them before the worst happens, if at all possible.

Chicago_82 9 years, 8 months ago

Ticket the jerks who tail the car in front of them. As long as the person in front is going the posted speed limit, the car behind should keep proper distance.

appletreeandku 9 years, 8 months ago

Is it required by law to move from faster lane to the slower lane ? It puzzled me long time.

howie1 9 years, 8 months ago

I drive k10 and most of douglas county everyday. if you ever pay attention to the tags on the cars, of the ones that are driving badly cutting ppl. off look at the top right hand corner 98 percent of the time it says JO..... here is a joke when do the JO ppl. know when they have the right of way??? "WHEN THE KEY IS IN THE IGNITION" to all of you law enforcement ppl. they may all say they are a lawyer or the babies dady is a lawyer or my moms ex husbands brothers mothers dad is a lawyer dont be scared right those tickets.

shuddleston 9 years, 8 months ago

You can actually by Kansas law pass on the left or right on the interstate. Slower traffic is supposed to keep left but if they don't then it is legal to pass them on the right.

Matt Schwartz 9 years, 8 months ago

that might be the first(and maybe not only) time i agree with,kaw,kaw.and it's not only dg. county and lawrence, it's the whole u.s.a. many other nations and countries already have cars like's just now we need plates on the front as well as the back of the keen to pay extra? i am.

shuddleston 9 years, 8 months ago

My mistake I meant the right lane not left. it was early - lol

Curtis Lange 9 years, 8 months ago

Ah. I do apologize. Obviously missed that, lol. :)

justaverage 9 years, 8 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront - The idea to park patrol cars on the shoulder of any road unattended is just as dangerous as having a broken-down vehicle parked on the shoulder.That would create a hazard if someone did have to serve out of the way of an oncoming vehicle or had a tire blow for example. The speed limit on the K-10 bypass needs to be lowered to 55 mph and patroled.

somebodynew 9 years, 8 months ago

AMEN KUweatherman. I SO wish people would realize that is designated as a "passing" lane for a reason. It is not supposed to be a driving lane. Oh, and that does not mean you are passing the next car by getting in that lane a mile behind the other driver and going 1 mile over the speed limit and then it takes you a mile to "wake up" and realize the "slow" lane is clear. And I do believe it is an actual law, it just doesn't get enforced near enough.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 8 months ago

Who in here said passing on the right was not legal? I don't see anyone stating that. Also, travel in the passing lane is NOT permitted unless passing.

staff04 9 years, 8 months ago

"Several of you need to read the KS statutes. Passing on the right is legal, as is regular travel in the left lane. What isn't legal is running two abreast to obstruct traffic"Thanks gccs...I knew it was state-by-state, but couldn't remember what the rule in KS is. One thing though-does it apply to all roads? For some reason I can't get out of my head that it only applies to interstates.

verity 9 years, 8 months ago

I have always thought that a two-lane limited access road (K-10 west of Lawrence) was a little strange and just an accident waiting to happen. How many people not familiar with this road might mistakenly think that the other lane is actually a passing lane?Then east of Lawrence there are four lanes that are not limited access and people get hit pulling out from stop signs. Doesn't make much sense to me.But mainly we all need to have a little patience and pay attention when we're driving. Driving faster is usually not saving us much time---and as the saying goes, "Better late than never."

gccs14r 9 years, 8 months ago

Curtis, re-read what Confrontation said above.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

"confontation is the problem"Who's that?

FMT6488 9 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, more patrols will not prevent someone from "Driving While Doing Stupid things" or Driving After Doing Stupid Things". It may help prevent it, but it will not put an end to it. A key part of the problem is this simple fact : Many Americans believe driving a motorized vehicle is a right, when it is actually a privilege. This belief is not helped by the fact that many American drivers cannot remember (or never even knew) the driving laws of the state they live in. Another part of the problem is that many people do not view an automobile as a deadly object. A 1,500 pound object moving at 30 mph can turn a humans' internal organs into jelly when hitting someone. This is just as lethal (if not more so) as a gun.I did a little google search ... Checked 6 sites, found this info: Car related deaths 1999: 41,611 Firearm related deaths 1999: 28,874 (this number INCLUDES suicides) The numbers were pretty close for each site I checked, very little difference.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

Make sure you're ticketing those jerks who won't move over to the slow lane.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

I'm not surprised that so many of you idiots don't understand that the left lane is for passing. Why do you think that cops ticket drivers for passing on the right? Take a driver's ed course. I'm betting that you're the idiots that I see every time I'm on K-10. Don't make me waste my time because you are too scared to change lanes. Stay home.

classclown 9 years, 8 months ago

One thing that really peeves me that I have not seen addressed here are the people that slow down to pass another car.You're driving along and a car comes from behind obviously traveling way faster than you are, yet when they go to pass they slow down and take forever to get past you.This really causes problems when the car in front of me is going slower than I am and I am unable to get over into the other lane to pass because there is a car next to me wanting to pass me but at only 1/2 mph faster than I'm driving. If you're driving 80mph then keep driving that speed and get on past everyone. Don't slow down to 71 every time you catch up to a car and then take 5 minutes passing them.

cms 9 years, 8 months ago

I am surprised not one comment has addressed the report that the SUV was reported multiple times from as far as Kansas City about erratic driving. How sad, how sad the KHP or law enforcement couldn't find the SUV before the accident.

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

Note to K-10 idiots:"KDOT offers the following reminders on safe freeway driving:¢ Stay in the right lane, except to pass"

SMe 9 years, 8 months ago

It's a two-lane road, Confrontation.

Yabut 9 years, 8 months ago

How many people have to die before the state installs some sort of barrier (cable system or concrete) to prevent cars from crossing into oncoming traffic? I know someone who was killed on this road in a crossover accident, and I fear for my life every day I drive K-10.

BigPrune 9 years, 8 months ago

This stretch of road where the two gentlemen were killed is almost the exact place another man got killed a few years ago, also in a head-on collission.

gphawk89 9 years, 8 months ago

"patrols to increase... after spate of accidents"A little late for that, don't you think? Why do we always react to disasters rather than trying to prevent them before they happen?

TopJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

A lot of the attitudes on here are the reason for a lot of the accidents on K-10. Driving K-10 is a lot like driving I-80. You cannot do so in a safe manner or you will be run over.

gccs14r 9 years, 8 months ago

Again, check the statutes. Both 8-1514 and 8-1519 say that it is legal to travel in all lanes not reserved for oncoming traffic, and 1519 describes when and where it is legal to pass on the right.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 7 months ago

8-1514 may read that it is legal to drive in the passing lane. But it still stands those cars MUST move over for faster traffic. The 'Slower Traffic Keep Right' signs aren't up for S&G's. Not only that, but it is rude and inconsiderate to drive in the left lane when no traffic is around.

Curtis Lange 9 years, 7 months ago

Doing greater than or equal to 70 mph or not, if a car comes up from behind to pass then you are obligated to move to the right. Doing the speed limit doesn't give anyone the right to ride in the left lane with total disregard to the traffic around him/her. If anyone thinks that, they need to go back and re-read the statute.

Megnatic 9 years, 7 months ago

i don't care about who's right or wrong for tailgaiting or passing. all i know is i have lost my uncle. how sad this is for my family, who as many of you probably already know has suffered a lot of loss. this is the 3rd death, in 2 months. my aunt pam (allen's wife) already had to bury her own daughter. and now her husband, who had brought so much light into her life. please keep her in your thoughts. .. she needs a lot of support right now, i'm sure anyone could imagine. i also feel for his sons... he was such a great father. his grandchildren who won't remember his infectios laugh. i still can't believe this. it's all so surreal. thank you for your time....M

Commenting has been disabled for this item.