Archive for Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bicyclist flown to KU Hospital after accident southwest of Lawrence

A 29-year-old woman who recently moved to Lawrence was injured Wednesday afternoon in a bicycle accident on County Road 458 about a mile south of Wakarusa Valley School.

July 1, 2009, 5:16 p.m. Updated July 1, 2009, 10:51 p.m.


A 29-year-old woman who recently moved to Lawrence was injured Wednesday afternoon in a bicycle accident on County Road 458 about a mile south of Wakarusa Valley School.

Amelia Wilson, who was wearing a helmet, was flown by air ambulance to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., according to Sgt. Steve Lewis of the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. She suffered facial injuries and was responsive when medical personnel arrived, Lewis said.

Two motorists discovered the woman on the ground and called authorities.

Gravel on the road may have caused her to lose control of her bicycle, Lewis said. He noted the road, which is a favorite of bicyclists, recently was chipped and sealed.

The site of Wednesday’s accident is near where a Lawrence man was injured Monday after he lost control of his motorcycle. Chas McElhinney, 72, who was flown by helicopter ambulance to KU Hospital, was not wearing a helmet. He was listed in fair condition early Wednesday night.


Corey Keizer 8 years, 12 months ago

It's good to see the car that hit him stopped to make sure he was OK....Oh wait.

born_to_run 8 years, 12 months ago

Did this happen today? If so, the article incorrectly states Thursday. Today is Wednesday.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 12 months ago

does not say anything about a car. But one would think a car was involved but you never know.

ctrowbridge 8 years, 12 months ago

born_to_run: Yes, it was today. Wednesday. Our error. Thanks for the notice. — Caroline Trowbridge, assignment director

5thgeneration 8 years, 12 months ago

She was wearing a helmet, crashing at low to moderate speed, and was still air lifted? That seems to go against much of the logic I've seen posted here recently. I hope she's all right.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 12 months ago

A freshly chipped-and-sealed surface can be treacherous-- kinda like walking on marbles, especially for riders inexperienced with it.

Corey Keizer 8 years, 12 months ago

It "doesn't appear another vehicle caused the accident" at this point, but I'm sure you've seen what the shoulder is like on 458. When I lived in Lawrence I rode that road from time to time and never got any consideration from drivers when they passed. You don't have to be hit square on by a Ford f-150 at the intersection of 6th and Iowa by a blind 73 year old for "another vehicle to have caused the accident. I had a friend who was killed by a driver who passed too close and who's mirror clipped his shoulder causing him to fall on a descent. If it weren't for the witnesses who were there (both cyclists and motorists) "it would have appeared no other vehicles caused the accident" in his case either.

Although maybe she just fell hard enough to knock herself out...on a relatively flat road that was just repaved. yea. that totally makes sense.

Corey Keizer 8 years, 12 months ago

oh wait, chip and seal... yea, that does change it a bit... but not that much.

gccs14r 8 years, 12 months ago

Chipseal should be illegal. The motorcycle and bicycle injury accidents on 458 this week would not have happened with proper paving in place. How much did the chipseal save over asphalt (another inferior pavement), and was it worth it to cause two accidents of sufficient severity to require airlifting the victims? The one guy has got to have at least $100,000 in medical by now. Maybe his insurance company (or his widow, if he dies) should sue the county.

Corey Keizer 8 years, 12 months ago

Seriously?... Bicyclists "Endanger" people in cars? That's rich... and compelling. You uh... have some evidence to show how bicyclists put motorists in peril do ya? You have some accident stats that show all the drivers who have died or been seriously injured in Car/Bicycle collisions? No? I didn't think so, because there are none.

that's hilarious though "Endanger"... good one.

Oh, and hinder? I'm sure that added 5 -20 seconds you have to wait to pass a cyclist is really knocking the years off your life huh?

Thanks for adding a little laughter to my day.

kansasmutt 8 years, 12 months ago

People crash bikes in the grass and die hitting the bars and or the center bar, so going down on chip and seal and slamming into ? is not a fluke and nothing was said about a car.You all just think your detectives and know nothing at all.Bicycle riders crash all the time. I hope she is ok and learns to ride the trails to stay safe.Chip and seal is the worst waste of money and unsafe for anyone even in a car.Tax dollars being wasted again, yee haww.

Corey Keizer 8 years, 12 months ago

notwhatyouthink... Maybe the State Legislature can spend a couple million to fund a study of how Chip and Seal is a poor economic choice for road surfacing.

Suvk1ller 8 years, 12 months ago

Now why is it that (seems to be alot) every time an accident occures in or near Lawrence the patient/idiot is life flighted to KC? Does Lawrence Memorial suck that bad and/or are they just there to administer bandaids to retards that can't ride a bike and treat alcohol overdose to dumb@ss KU students? Why have a freakin hospital if its not used??? WOW, you people amaze me, you really do!

silversportster05 8 years, 12 months ago

I was riding that rode yesterday on my bike and the on the curve south of where the motorcycle wreck was, my back tire slid out from under me. Luckily I was going slow enough to be able to correct it without going down.
Chip and sealing that road was a BIG mistake with all the bikes and motorcycles that use that road. Send Dg co all the medical bills

appleaday 8 years, 12 months ago

SUV -- LMH does not have the trauma level rating to manage head injuries. For one thing, they would have to have neurosurgeons available 24/7. Anytime anyone has a head injury they need to get to a trauma center that can care for them in the event they develop an epidural or subdural hematoma. Taking them to LMH first and then transporting them might make the difference between life and death. And remember the recent death of Natasha Richardson? Her injury seemed completely minor.

coffeegurl 8 years, 12 months ago

I live out that way and I ride 458. The road wasn't that bad. I wonder what prompted them to chip and seal it. Terrible for motorists and cyclists alike.

frank mcguinness 8 years, 12 months ago

They have been adding chip and seal to many of the roads south of lawrence and it is complete B.S.

yankeelady 8 years, 12 months ago

They have used chip and seal on the county roads for the 20+ years that we have lived out here. It isn't new. Roads are for cars. Especially narrow roads with no shoulders and, in some places, limited sight due to curves and vegetation.

gccs14r 8 years, 12 months ago

If we spent a little more up front on road construction, we wouldn't have to spend so much time and money trying to keep them from disintegrating. That wouldn't provide a steady stream of tax dollars to paving companies and their political buddies, though.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 12 months ago

yankeelady, you just described every road in DG county.

Sort of destroys your "especially" qualifier. Since roads are specifically, by statute, not built just for cars I think you better try again.

I have ridden that road many times and often, on my bike, I pass farm machinery on that road. Are roads still just for cars?

As anyone who rides in south central Kansas can attest, it is fairly common to pass horse drawn carriages while riding your bike. Are roads still just for cars?

gccs14r 8 years, 12 months ago

Grocery shopping? Bicycles aren't just for recreation.

Hoots 8 years, 12 months ago

American roads are about 11"'s of solid surface and German roads are anywhere from 24"s to 36"s of solid surface. They almost never have to replace roads. Yes, we save a little but spend a ton maintaining our roadbeds.

The chip and seal thing is not so cheap and is total BS. I was out there last weekend on my motorcycle and rode with a nervous grip. That road won't be safe for some time for anyone on two wheels.

For you folks that think you are safe in a car don't be so sure. Those marbles are dangerous for you too. If you get a little off-line in a corner the chip and seal could put you in the ditch as well.

I really wish they would stop using this crap for a stop-gap solution.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 12 months ago

Amelia, hope you don't have any lasting harm. welcome to lawrence, this isn't the best greeting we could've given you!

hope your reason(s) for coming to lawrence are still good after this accident.

get well soon.

cowboy 8 years, 11 months ago

cyclists have every right to ride the two lane county roads but seems to me the risk factor is quite high. They weren't built for touring bikers.

MattressMan 8 years, 11 months ago

You people that moan and groan about chip and seal as well as having the county be responsible for medical bills all ought to just stay home in your little bubbles or learn to drive. This from the KS drivers license renewal handbook...

"Kansas’ basic speed law provides that you must never drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing. Consider road, weather and your vehicle condition, as well as your own physical condition. What might be a reasonable speed at one time may not be reasonable at another time because of different conditions. Adjust your driving to road, traffic and weather conditions.

Existing conditions sums it all up!

BigPrune 8 years, 11 months ago

Nobody can sue the government and win. They are exempt. It's from the Tort Reform Act.

working_momma 8 years, 11 months ago

Wow I never knew Lawrence had so many roadway experts here in town, where do all of you find jobs in your area of expertise??? I have driven and rode on 458 the better part of 33 years and last I checked the only traffic that pays the taxes to maintain said road, is traffic powered by some type of engine. When cyclists start tagging their bikes (motorcyclists excluded as they tag their bikes) I would think they would have a better arguement. Notice I did not say more of a right to complain, as anyone is allowed to complain thank you Bill of RIghts. Anyone else in Dg. Co. ever notice that cyclists (not motor, again) seen to think the rules of the road do not apply to them. Countless times bicyclists pull right up next to motorists at stop lights and signs, if they decide to stop at all. Why don't the cyclists use the trails the city and county built for them, talk about a waste of tax money.

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

Motor fuel road use tax pays only about half the bill for road maintenance. The rest comes from general tax revenues. Maybe if fuel users ponied up the entire cost, they could claim exclusive use.

gccs14r 8 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, MattressMan. We should expect our roads to be paved with marbles, have giant holes in them, or otherwise be unfit for anything other than a high ground clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicle or a burro, right?

yankeelady 8 years, 11 months ago

To Bob_Keeshan. You are right I should have been more specific. The farm vehicles, and horses etc are almost always people who live, and farm, in the area. I was mentally including them in my statement. It seems the biggest issue is that those who live in the area are made to feel like they are in the way of the people who use the area for recreation. Sort of like having a pool in your yard that attracts neighbor kids, it is an attractive nuisance. I try to be considerate of the riders that pass by, even the ones that throw plastic water bottles in my ditches, or yell at my horses, or in one extreme case, chased one of my cats that had gotten too close to the road. I also try to be considerate of the packs of riders that take up an entire lane, and wait until it is safe to pass. Even though I believe they are supposed to ride 2 abreast. I also am well aware that the vast majority of riders will not obey the stop sign at the corner, so I always am ready to stop, so as not to have a hood ornament. Perhaps a little courtesy on both sides would be a good idea. After all, people do live in the rural areas. It isn't just a giant bike lane.

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