Archive for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Accident fatal on rain-slicked I-70

Emergency responders survey the scene at a fatal accident on westbound Interstate 70 Tuesday.

Emergency responders survey the scene at a fatal accident on westbound Interstate 70 Tuesday.

September 2, 2008, 2:49 p.m. Updated September 2, 2008, 11:14 p.m.


A 46-year-old Topeka man was killed Tuesday afternoon after seeking refuge from a rain storm under a bridge on westbound Interstate 70 near Bonner Springs.

Ronald Howard had legally parked his motorcycle under a bridge near mile marker 222 about 2:20 p.m. when a 1992 Mercury driven by a 33-year-old Lawrence man hydroplaned, striking Howard and another motorcyclist, Mary Brauner, 48, Topeka, before skidding into the median.

Another vehicle stopped to assist the victims and was hit by a hydroplaning 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by a 44-year-old Lawrence woman, causing the parked car to hit the two victims.

Howard was taken to Kansas University Hospital, where he later died.

A Kansas Turnpike Authority dispatcher said Brauner was transported to Kansas University Hospital, but a nursing supervisor on Tuesday night was unable to confirm her presence or condition.

Traffic was backed up for about half an hour after the accident as emergency crews responded to the accident.


NotASquishHead 9 years, 9 months ago

sdinges- I think you need to reread the second paragraph... "Ronald Howard had LEGALLY parked his motorcycle under a bridge near..." Vehicles and motorcycles are allowed to pull off the road.The turnpike is a very, very dangerous place when it rains, especially in the mile marker 220-222 area. Please slow down.

acg 9 years, 9 months ago

lawrence_drivers_suck, I don't think Ron's family would sue over this situation unless there was some negligence involved. So far, from what I've ascertained, this seems like a tragic accident, made only worse by hateful comments by a tool like you. If everything Lawrence sucks to you, then by all means, leave our local message boards. At this point, you're really not wanted or needed.

costello 9 years, 9 months ago

"Conboy said the accident had been jarring for emergency workers, even those in the dispatch office. Kanara, she said, had called the office to check on the status of Howard and Brauner. He was 'totally beside himself' when he learned of Howard's death."

SMe 9 years, 9 months ago

Kill a biker - go to jail.Hardly in Kansas!

sdinges 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm not sure what your point is SMe, since the motorcyclists were illegally parked and by all appearances, this was a wholly weather related accident - two different vehicles hydroplaned in the same spot, resulting in death (no mention is given as yet of speeding - hydroplaning is quite possible even at slow speeds).Is your point that someone should go to jail for this horrible accident? Which one? The original driver, who may not have killed anyone, the second one who stopped to help but whose parked car contributed, or the third one who hydroplaned and hit the parked car, but not the bikers.Maybe we should just go ahead and ruin everyone's life who was involved, because it just wasn't tragic enough for you.

Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

I see that you're posting on that site as "butthead," w_h_l.

compmd 9 years, 9 months ago

Slow down! There is nowhere you have to be that is more important than the people you can kill on the highway due to your wanton disregard for common sense.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 9 months ago

Calm yourself, coltrane. Have a popsicle. It's a cool and fruity treat on a hot summer day.

OnlyTheOne 9 years, 9 months ago

Hey Sdinges! What part of this, taken from the article, do you not understand?!"Ronald Howard had legally parked his..." does the word "LEGALLY" ring something in your addled brain?And as a second response to your poorly thought out reply. Do you not realize that the first hours during a rain occurring after a dry spell is the most dangerous because the oils haven't had time to wash off the highways?Do you consider it okay that automobile drivers do NOT observe what is happening in front of them on the roadway and continue on at their own leisure obviously exceeding "reasonable and prudent" speeds in bad weather.And I'd like to leave you with this thought, THINK MORE - TYPE LESS.

acg 9 years, 9 months ago

I knew Ron. He was a good man. He was always diligent about how he handled his bike. He had pulled over to get a little refuge and throw on his rain gear. I can't believe this happened. I just saw him the other day. It's devastating. He will be greatly missed.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 9 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

coltrane 9 years, 9 months ago

'merican drivers !pretty bad. can't control their vehicles in the rain ?

packs_of_wild_dogzz 9 years, 9 months ago

Interesting. Your question has been answered.

ksmax 9 years, 9 months ago

NotASquishHead-I absolutley agree about the condition of I 70 when it rains, I myself have driven that stretch when it is raining, and it pulls you all over the road. There are worn spots (grooves) in the road that collect massive amounts of water. VERY DANGEROUS!!

delta77 9 years, 9 months ago

I was on I-70 during this as well. It went from nothing to torrential downpour in a few seconds and people who weren't paying enough attention couldn't react quickly enough to the changing conditions. There were at least half a dozen cars spun out and accidents between Lawrence and 435.

acg 9 years, 9 months ago

OMG I can't believe that picture. I had to cry when I saw it. Poor Ron. Dude, you were a cool guy and I loved to pick on you about your name and my husband will miss seeing you at the site every day. RIP

Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

Everything becomes worse when you add an SUV to it.

Miss_Spent 9 years, 9 months ago

I was also on Eastbound I-70 when this accident ocurred. I saw the emergency workers going to the scene, but wasn't sure what happened. The rain at that time was a torrential downpour with winds that felt like they were going to literally send my vehicle flipping off the highway. I, along with most other drivers pulled to the side of the highway because there was zero visibility. I ended up pulling back onto the highway because the drivers that remained driving were going so fast that I was in fear that I would be hit if I stayed. I am sure the motorcyclists pulled over to seek refuge underneath the overpass. Most likely, the driver of the car that struck them has the same idea, but because of reduced visibility didn't see the bikes until too late and was sent hydroplaning in an attempt to stop. This is speculation, though.On my way back from KC, there was a tow truck present. I saw the 2 vehicles still there. Also, there were 3 motorcycles that had been hit. There was not a mention of the third motorcycle, so I am assuming that driver was not on the bike when it was hit.

reason 9 years, 9 months ago

the turnpike is a awful road when its wet i too hydroplaned ,2 weeks ago just past the lecompton exit--it seems like in the middle lane there is a valley that collects water and is dangerous -- and at night in the rain you cant see the lane markers--why do we still pay to drive on such a dangerous road--it is not the drivers fault its the darn KTA and the way they made the road--i am lucky i just crashed in the median and not any thing or anybody--from now on i am taking the old highway when it rains

sdinges 9 years, 9 months ago

Yes you're right I obviously misread the article. I did not however misread the response that someone deserves to go to jail for it - and that was where my comment was directed.

kssunshine 9 years, 9 months ago

The Third person on one of the other bikes was Ron's nephew Jesse Howard. He yelled at Jesse to "watch out" theress a car" that is when Jesse jumped over the median to get out of the way. Ron saved his life.I have know Ron for MANY MANY years and he will be sadly missed by many friends and family. RIP

sunnmoon 9 years, 9 months ago

Ron was a brother carpenter in the Topeka Carpenters Union local 1445. He was a good man and a good carpenter. It is a travesty that he died. Hopefully, whatever happened that fateful day, it will spark some conversation about how essential it is to pay attention to your surroundings and road conditions when behind the wheel. Bikers know how important those things are when out riding, and pay extra attention. Maybe we can try to pay extra attention as well. Of course, it is terrible we had to lose a brother, friend, and all around good guy. His death impacts alot of peoples' lives. You will be missed greatly Ron. I hope you can still be in the wind. Big John Gregory, Vice President, Carpenters Local 1445.

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