Archive for Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seven-year-old bicyclist hit by truck in Baldwin City, flown to hospital

An emergency helicopter was dispatched to an accident north of Baldwin Thursday evening.

May 21, 2009, 6:37 p.m. Updated May 21, 2009, 10:04 p.m.


Emergency crews Thursday responded to the scene of two automobile accidents in Baldwin City.

At 6:05 p.m., Danielle L. Bennett, 7, of Baldwin City, was riding her bicycle south on Flame Way, according to Kansas Highway Patrol reports. She failed to yield at a stop sign at Firetree Avenue, entered the intersection and was struck by a vehicle driven by Ralph Ybarra, a 61-year-old Baldwin City man.

Ybarra was driving a 2005 Dodge pickup eastbound on Firetree Avenue.

Bennett was flown by air ambulance to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

Emergency responders also responded to an unrelated accident at Sixth and Ames. Dispatchers said the injuries in that accident did not require transport to the hospital.


morganlefay 4 years, 11 months ago

I live in a very small community similar to where this happened. The children will ride their bikes in the middle of the road whether a car is coming or not. And if car is coming, they don't move out of the way at all. It's a matter of parents doing their job of parenting and teaching their offspring to respect adults and vehicles. With that said, I do hope this child is alright and will have a long healthy life. This should be used as a learning experience for everyone.


Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

What gets me is that people don't seem to understand that you can cross the street at a crosswalk and still get hit. I think that those who never walk or bike don't get this. Adults should be watching after the kids, not the other way around. Doesn't anyone remember when the world was still a wonderful place and full of distractions? Wait! Talking on the phone, texting, eating, putting on makeup, whoa!


middlemgmt 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm sooooo glad to hear the little girl will be okay. I have a 7 year old and this is the age that parents start having to decide what to let them do by themself. I let my son play in the yard by himself, and I let him go in a public bathroom by himself. Of course I stand by the door and he knows if anyone touches him to scream and I will be in the bathroom in a heartbeat! :)


gmemusic 4 years, 11 months ago

Prayers for the child, family and driver in a terrible situation. A reminder to parents, make sure your children wear helmets ALL THE TIME when on a bicycle, roller skates, roller blades, scooters, anything with wheels, and make sure you teach them the rules of the road, like watching for cars and stopping at corners and stop signs to make sure it's safe before crossing. Not saying that this was the cause of this because I don't know, but it certainly serves as a reminder that as summer rolls around (pardon the pun), kids are going to be out more on various wheeled toys and they need to be cautious, as do we drivers. If you don't have helmets for your kids, go to a bike shop, WalMart, Target, or if you don't have the cash, a local fire station and get one free through the helmet program. It could save a life.


Pywacket 4 years, 11 months ago

(On secondary topic--news coverage of accidents)

Thanks for the explanation, Jonathan. It's pretty much what any long-time resident has already figured out after seeing many years' worth of accidents that looked horrific, then being frustrated later when no news was forthcoming.

I understand your sentiment that the LJW would get nothing done if you reported on "every accident in Lawrence"; however, I think if you did a poll you'd quickly find that most readers would really, really like you to find a better point between Pt. A (only the worst-injury accidents) and Pt Z (every minor fender-bender). How about Pt L or Pt R being a more reasonable stop along the continuum?

I do not believe there are so many bad accidents (i.e., badly wrecked cars w/o bad injuries) in town each day that it would tie up excessive staff time printing at least the basics from the worst of them, just to ease public concern over incidents they have seen. At least post them online... That doesn't take up printed space.

Seriously--do one of your reader polls if you want to know whether the public wants more, less, or the present amount of info on police/fire calls. Of all the papers I read online, some bigger, some smaller than the LJW, the LJW prints the least number of police & fire reports. Somehow, other papers are striking a balance between what you're covering now (mainly only serious injury accidents) and slavishly reporting every fender bender.

I think you guys do a great job and I do not intend this as a slam of the paper. You cover many, many areas very well--but, as you know, there is always room for improvement, and I'm just suggesting that this is one area that could really stand to be tweaked. Thanks for listening--that's one thing you are great about doing!


Pywacket 4 years, 11 months ago

Kidbusy~~ Thanks for updating us on how she is doing--what a huge relief! And, yes, even the most cautious of parents (such as myself!) have occasionally seen our kids do something boneheaded. Most of us did things like this ourselves as children. We cannot keep them in a bubble until they're 18.

There is a vast gray area between letting a kid run in the streets and being so overprotective that the child learns nothing but fear. Igby (et al) is an idiot if he thinks this accident automatically points to parental irresponsibility. These parents no doubt did what we all do--lecture, lecture, lecture on safety rules, watch the child ride many times, reminding her of those rules if she was about to break one, and slowly increase the area in which the child is allowed to ride...

Who knows why she didn't stop at the corner? Luckily, she'll live to follow the rules better in the future. What a huge relief for the driver, too, who must've been anguished.


Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 11 months ago

As for accidents, generally we only report them if someone is severely injured or traffic is halted on a major thoroughfare. If we haven't reported the accident (and if we did report on every accident in Lawrence we'd do nothing but report accidents nonstop all-day), it's because the injuries were moderate or minor.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor


kidbusy 4 years, 11 months ago

Who lets a seven year old ride a bike in the street anyway! "go play in the street dear”, people will watch out for you.”

I live in Baldwin, and know the family. They did not tell her to play in the street. There is a sidewalk there, and she didn't stop at the stop sign. Kids do those things, we as drivers need to be alert.

How about some reporting on the two terrible accidents that have occured on Iowa street near 9th street last Friday and today??

Did the accidents in Lawrence involve young children? If not, that may be why this one was reported on and not the others. Have some compassion for the family and driver.

Luckily the little girl is going to be just fine. And I'm sure the driver is having a very hard time dealing with this.

My prayers are with both families!!


Chris Ogle 4 years, 11 months ago

No doubt the driver is not doing so well either.

Let a positive force be with that young child.

Right on, Merrill. Both will be in my prayers.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

When drivers notice young children in an area walking,biking, playing catch, kicking a volleyball around or whatever why not pretend they are not paying attention or simply have not noticed an oncoming vehicle.

Be prepared to stop no matter what. Hey Journal World how about doing a story as a matter of prevention.

No doubt the driver is not doing so well either.

Let a positive force be with that young child.


igby 4 years, 11 months ago

Who lets a seven year old ride a bike in the street anyway!

"go play in the street dear", people will watch out for you."

Was it not Baldwin that had a rash of child snatchers last year!

In Lawrence, I would not let a dog or cat past the front door step without being supervised.

After that dog raping Turk they found.


Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 4 years, 11 months ago

Prayers for the child and her family. So heartbreaking to have a child injured.


bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope she can have a full recovery. 7-year-old bicyclists just do kid things.


lctchr1 4 years, 11 months ago

Bless this little girl's heart. I hope, hope, hope that she comes out ok. Her poor parents!


Pywacket 4 years, 11 months ago

Asking (politely would be nice) about lack of coverage of in-town accidents you know about = fair and reasonable.

Snarking about news coverage elsewhere in the county (which is also served by this paper) = unnecessary, juvenile, and mean-spirited.

Get over yourself, frwent.


nschmi04 4 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, it's folks like 'frwent' that make this city intolerable. Attention whores like 'it' should be reconciled.


bigdave 4 years, 11 months ago

This paper needs all the compassion it can get!!!!!


LocalYocal 4 years, 11 months ago

Wow, that was uncalled for frwent. How about some compassion.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

How about some reporting on the two terrible accidents that have occured on Iowa street near 9th street last Friday and today?? Why is news about accidents in Baldwin newsworthy, and nothing about the miserable driving skills that appear on our own city streets????


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