Archive for Friday, October 16, 2009

20-year-old Lawrence woman dies after apparent hit-and-run

Woman taken by air ambulance to Topeka hospital

Rachel Leek, center, works at the WheatFields Bakery tent at the Taste of Lawrence fall mixer in September. Leek died Friday afternoon from injuries from an apparent hit-and-run accident while she was riding her bicycle.

Rachel Leek, center, works at the WheatFields Bakery tent at the Taste of Lawrence fall mixer in September. Leek died Friday afternoon from injuries from an apparent hit-and-run accident while she was riding her bicycle.

October 16, 2009, 3:28 a.m. Updated October 16, 2009, 3:57 p.m.

Woman dies after hit-and-run accident

A 20-year-old Lawrence woman died from injuries she suffered in a hit-and-run accident Friday morning. The accident occurred in the 1000 block of Tennessee Street. Enlarge video

Woman in critical condition after apparent hit-and-run

A 20-year-old Lawrence woman was transported by air ambulance to a Kansas City-area hospital after being the victim of an apparent hit-and-run injury accident. The incident occurred in the 1000 block of Tennessee Street about 2:20 a.m. Friday. Enlarge video

Rachel Leek, center, works at the WheatFields Bakery tent at the Taste of Lawrence fall mixer in September. Leek died Friday afternoon from injuries from an apparent hit-and-run accident while she was riding her bicycle.

Rachel Leek, center, works at the WheatFields Bakery tent at the Taste of Lawrence fall mixer in September. Leek died Friday afternoon from injuries from an apparent hit-and-run accident while she was riding her bicycle.

A 20-year-old Lawrence woman has died from injuries she received early Friday morning after apparently being hit by a hit-and-run driver.

Lawrence police said Rachel Leek was riding her bicycle in the 1000 block of Tennessee Street, when she was hit by a vehicle. Police said Leek was transported by air ambulance with serious, life-threatening injuries to Stormont-Vail hospital in Topeka, where she later died.

Police Sgt. Susan Hadl said emergency crews were dispatched to the accident after Douglas County emergency dispatchers received a call about 2:20 a.m. regarding an unresponsive person.

Hadl said a resident in the area had heard a noise and had gone outside to investigate when he or she found the victim unconscious near the curb on the east side of the street. The woman's bicycle was nearby.

A police detective was on the scene of the accident later Friday morning searching for evidence. Murphree said no arrests had been made in the case.

Hadl said there was no description of the vehicle available and asked anyone with information regarding the incident to call Lawrence police, or leave an anonymous message on the Crimestoppers TIPS hot line at 843-TIPS (8477).

Leek was an employee at Wheatfield’s Bakery in downtown Lawrence.

Check back to LJWorld.com for more information as it becomes available.

Comments

pissedinlawrence 5 years, 10 months ago

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

grammaddy 5 years, 10 months ago

The road is for All of us. If you can't see a bicyclist at night, perhaps You should not be driving!!

workinghard 5 years, 10 months ago

Let's assume she had a light on the bike as required,but we all have seen riders who do not have lights. Please people put lights on your bike. No excuse for leaving though, what if someone had not gone out, she could have died by the time someone found her. Hope they find them. I passed a bicylist the other day wearing a head lamp which have led lights. When he turned to look for cars, his light, being at head level, blinded me. I bought one of these for my son and it never occured to me that this could happen. Hope she recovers. Just a thought, she may have just gotten off work and was going home, for some people that is their only choice other than walking.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 10 months ago

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

OutlawJHawk 5 years, 10 months ago

As every parent has told their children, nothing good is going on after midnight.

I'll bet the bike had no lights on it as required by law if riding at night and the majority of drivers out at 2 am are patrons leaving bars. Drunk drivers making their way home at bar closing time in the middle of the night and a bike on the same road with no lights equals a great opportunity for disaster.

This is a terribly tragic but probable outcome given all of the circumstances.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

Drivers in Douglas County have learned that if they flee the scene the penalties are little to none. I do hope this woman recovers.

Nathan Atchison 5 years, 10 months ago

gee lets speculate some more about this accident.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

It isn't the police that are the problem it is the D.A. Just yesterday someone I know was cut off by another driver, They stopped to avoid a wreck but a modped driver was not so lucky. He lost control & slid. There was damage to his moped. The driver who initially cut off the others sped away. Neither of the other drivers were able to get a plate number of the fleeing car. So car # 1 is unkown and the other two have to file insurance reports even though no tickets were issued.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

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rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

NO excuse for hit and run.

What's up with the video at the top of the story? I know 10th and Tennessee and that doesn't look anything like that area. That looks more like the area of 11th and Mississippi.

rtwngr 5 years, 10 months ago

My bad. Must have been an old video. I ran it and it had the right area. As Emily Litella, on Saturday Night Live, used to say, "Never mind."

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 10 months ago

rtwingr--

That's where the helicopter landed to pick the woman up and take her to a Kansas City area hospital. You're certainly right, it's not 10th and Tennessee.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure we can expect officers to be on every corner but do agree that there is great disregard for those who walk and/or ride on two wheels. I am also a bit set back by those who disregard school zones.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 10 months ago

I sure hope the girl recovers. head injuries can spell perminent disabilities, death.

ljworld, was she wearing a helmet? bikers sure should wear helmets too.

however, I must note that in the comments so far, not much detail but a lot of individual agendas plugged into the scant details.

I do strongly oppose drunk drivers, my father died a drunk driver. we sure don't have much detail. shouldn't be blaming the victim [on the bike].

some of the posters have forgotten that this is a college town, and some folks walking/biking at 2a.m. are going home after: completing research; working on writing, organizing a presentation.

yes, good chance driver was leaving a bar. but again a lot we don't know.

I'll also note the very close proximity to the drunk/drug shelter there. there's another possible couple of scenarios.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

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yankeevet 5 years, 10 months ago

Hope she will be ok; driver should of stopped; and rendered assistance; call 911; and wait there until first responders arrived........again i hope the young lady will be ok...........

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

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

Ralph Reed 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes, let's speculate. Not knowing anything, several decisions have been made as to who was at fault, etc ad nauseum. well done. I hope the young girl recovers.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Kealing: The girl did not go to KC. She went to Topeka.

Matthew Fowler 5 years, 10 months ago

Dear LJWorld staff:

Please, for the love of God, disable the "comments" function on stories involving accidents.

It would make the world a better place.

Thank you.

gsxr600 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't support hit and runs but I think there needs to be more information before putting blame on the motorist. Yes, if there was a car involved (speculation) then they should have stopped. From what I'm hearing on this thing, you people clearly think 1) there was a motorist, 2) everyone has hammered drunk, 3) they hit a communist bicycle, 4) LPD can't do anything but write tickets 5) bicyclists are more godly than "god" because they have rights blah blah blah. People should give them room, but at the same time understand that cars have the ability to destroy a bicyclist and should maybe get out of the way when they have to.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 10 months ago

Keith--

Thanks. We'll check that out.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

Yes Seamus but the police have to see infractions before they can enforce the laws. Or at the least have a report made. I have called in drivers who appeared to impaired. I also stop at any accident I witness and if I were to see a person flee I would do my best to get a plate #. A few weeks ago I saw a bus for the disabled change lanes on a busy street without using a signal. I called that in too and provided the bus # to the company. If we want these laws enforced we have to be proactive about reporting.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 10 months ago

Trust me on this. It's 1000% true she went to Stormont Vail Healthcare in Topeka.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 10 months ago

Pretty messed up that the motorist would leave someone to possibly die just because they didn't want to get in any trouble.

Have a conscience and confess!

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 10 months ago

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

workinghard 5 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately there is a very good chance that she will not remember anything, after 12 yrs my son still doesn't remember what happened. In that case the driver gets off scott free. Hope there is some sort of physical evidence, hadn't considered the possibility that there wasn't a motorist. Will be interesting to find out.

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

I hope the woman is able to make a full recovery.

Because the accident occurred around 2 am, there is much speculation about the driver. It could be true. Or they were just tired after working all night. It doesn't really matter, because there is no excuse for leaving the scene of an accident.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 10 months ago

Late Night was going on, so there more people than usual out at that time last night.

sassypants 5 years, 10 months ago

New laws for drunk driving now that they can bring up your past DUI's. Leave the scene and you dont have to worry about another DUI. There needs to be a law that if you are caught leaving a scene of accident and you have a history of DUI, treat the incident as a DUI. Bet that would stop the hit and runs, or maybe not.

kansasfan21 5 years, 10 months ago

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

KSShy1 5 years, 10 months ago

What if...... the bicyclist, tired from a long day at school and preparations, headed home and fell asleep on the bike. OR the bicyclist, being dark and late, did not see the pot hole in the road and lost control of her bike.

Everyone is assuming there is a car involved.

What if she just lost control and crashed her bike.

bad_dog 5 years, 10 months ago

"Late Night was going on, so there more people than usual out at that time last night."

Yeah, that would be the Late Night that begins at 6:30 and ends at 9:30 tonight.

Per Ricky_V's inference, it was probably either Markief or Brady, the football team, Lew Perkins, KU fans or the University itself that ran her down...

Why can't you see this is just another case of institutional corruption?

bernadette 5 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence is becoming the city of hit and runs. Why don't people take responsibility for their actions anymore??

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

artichokeheart (Anonymous) says… "Drivers in Douglas County have learned that if they flee the scene the penalties are little to none. I do hope this woman recovers."

Yep. It only takes a couple of high profile cases where drunk drivers kill, flee, and then get caught only to get slaps on the wrists. BTW, if the driver is local the police will likely catch this POS.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

I think I will go with what Susan Hadl is quoted to say about it; that it is believed a vehicle accident was involved . I'm going out on limb here but thinking the bike nearby had damage to indicate a car/truck was involved.

Jennifer Dropkin 5 years, 10 months ago

First, it is remarkable the number of posts removed because they violated the usage policy. What is wrong with you people?

Second, I left a large city partly to get away from the general lack of civility on the streets. But I've seen too much abuse of the same kind in Lawrence, especially of the right turn on red; either the drivers are turning because they think they have right of way (they often don't) or because they think they can get away with being bullies (they usually do). They turn without regard for traffic lights, stop signs, or rules of the road regarding pedestrians and bikes at intersections. And honestly, many of them are not really looking. They are registering the flow of vehicular traffic without registering the presence of other lawful users of the road.

And in the last two days I've seen three drivers run through stop lights and stop signs--not even feigning a "rolling stop," where the driver at least slows down a bit, just a full blow-through, as if no other cars or human beings are on the road.

Although we have a large immature and inexperienced driving population--students--they are not the only ones who are ignorant or abusive of the rules of the road. I've seen many drivers who are old enough to know better do the same.

Police enforcement of the rules of the road are nonexistant unless there's been an accident. Indifferent, ignorant, and bullying driving behavior won't change until the police start policing the roads.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry for the mistake. I wasn't insinuating that KU had something to do with it...geez....get defensive much?

If Late Night had been going on, it would be harder to identify a possible motorist due to the extra Late Night traffic.

Once again, sorry for the mistake, but take a chill pill bad_dog.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 10 months ago

The probability that it was a KU fan is fairly high, given the location and the fact that most people in town are KU fans.

stephenj 5 years, 10 months ago

My thoughts are going out to you! We love you!!!

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 10 months ago

If you are riding a bike in Lawrence, please do not ride on this street. It is too dangerous even in the daytime.

There are some streets that you should avoid. Ride on the sidewalk if you have to.

A lot of people are: Drinking Alcohol Focused on their cell phones In too big of a hurry

I ride a bike around town whenever I can. It is dangerous. There are a LOT of people who just don't care to pay any attention to bike riders.

greenlid79 5 years, 10 months ago

This is awful. But I see that no one has considered the possibility that it was a drive-by nunchuck attack. I didn't see anything in the article about them finding a pair at the scene, but nunchuck attacks have been on the rise lately. As long as we're speculating, we should consider all possibilities.

Easy 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not a nunchuck expert by any means, but would be happy to examine the scene and look for signs of a ninja attack. Good call greenlid79

Joe Hyde 5 years, 10 months ago

The sections of Tennessee St. and Kentucky St. between 19th and 6th streets are equally dangerous routes for bicyclists. Both are 2-lane one-ways that naturally encourage competition between drivers that results in speeding and inattention to the possibility of crossing pedestrians and cyclists.

Both of these one-ways have curb parking, and this forces cyclists to steer a parallel path far enough away from the parked cars that if someone sitting in one of those cars suddenly opens a left-side door the cyclist won't collide with the door. But in preventing a door collision the cyclist is moving farther out into the right-hand traffic lane, which sets the stage for a rear-end strike by a motor vehicle.

These two potential hazards (door collision and rear-end strike) exist for cyclists every day of the week, in daylight and darkness, fair weather or foul, on those two streets.

A high population of cyclists has always been a component of Lawrence's traffic reality. And a high percentage of younger cyclists have always traveled year-round 24/7 inside a 1-mile radius of the University. I submit that what Lawrence needs to do is construct a dense network of dedicated 8-foot wide concrete or asphalt bike/pedestrian trails inside this zone. These trails would not physically adjoin motor vehicle lanes but would be located separate, similar to how sidewalks are built away from the streets.

kusp8 5 years, 10 months ago

JKealing,

So did she go to Topeka or Kansas City? I don't really care, but if you read the article it's fairly difficult to read and decipher.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 10 months ago

kusp8--

Topeka. Sorry, we added the new information but didn't get rid of the old. We've got that fixed now. Good catch.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

I say the city should widen the sidewalks on Kentucky and Tenn for the sake of safe travel. There are a lot of cyclists in this area.

Use some of that 1995 one cent sales tax revenue.

In the meantime we want this person to heal.

It's hard to believe people can simply drive off I mean how insensitive....

kmat 5 years, 10 months ago

Police enforcement of the rules of the road are nonexistant unless there's been an accident. Indifferent, ignorant, and bullying driving behavior won't change until the police start policing the roads.


This is a huge problem in this town. Considering the amount of young drivers in Larryville, the police should be handing out tickets left and right. I've watched our fine police watch as people run red lights. Never understood why they wouldn't bust them. Sometimes our police are too busy chatting on their cell phones (they shouldn't be allowed to chat on their cell phones while on duty).

Jcjayhawk1 5 years, 10 months ago

It's a shame....but if the driver was drunk it was probably in their best interest to run. Ted Kennedy did it.....but that victim died.... albeit as a passenger.

Ride on the side walk.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 10 months ago

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

Stuart Evans 5 years, 10 months ago

Kmat says: I've watched our fine police watch as people run red lights. Never understood why they wouldn't bust them. Sometimes our police are too busy chatting on their cell phones (they shouldn't be allowed to chat on their cell phones while on duty).


regardless of what you observe, the police are not superheros and may not always be seeing exactly what you are seeing. They do have a lot going on while in their cars. not just sitting there waiting for the next doughnut break. and as for their cell phone use, a lot of it is work related, as they work on case leads & such.

jjt 5 years, 10 months ago

I walk on the sidewalks alongside mass, yday I was crossing on a white walk sign (half way across) at 19th when a kid in an 60's white pick up turned right on a red in front of me. I managed to stop in time he just glowered at me and roared off.I did not get the tag number but if I see the car again he will get reported to the police. When I lived in the UK the regional Police adpoted a policy where by if one got stoped and were over the limit then you spent a night in prison. Not a police cell. The idea of the stigma of a prison record cut drunk driving dramatically.

cleavageview 5 years, 10 months ago

For all those who are making jokes, please consider the family in this situation. A young woman is in critical condition. Let's take a break from the snarky, self-serving comments and find some compassion for these people.

I know Rachel and her family very well. These are good people who deserve a little respect. Please attempt to put yourself in their shoes and have some empathy. It could've been your mother, daughter, wife, sister.

Thanks...

bad_dog 5 years, 10 months ago

"If Late Night had been going on, it would be harder to identify a possible motorist due to the extra Late Night traffic."

If Late Night had been going on it would have ended approximately 5 hours before the accident was reported, therefore, the likelyhood of any connection would be remote, although not impossible.

As far as my defensiveness or needing to take a chill pill, the only reason I even commented on your post was because of your recent innumerable posts about the evil empire at KU. You appeared to be knee-jerk responding again. If not, I retract my statements.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 10 months ago

Okay, here's the deal. If the bicycle did not have the proper lights on it, it still doesn't matter. The fact is, only a dirty, stinking coward would hit someone with their vehicle and run away. Maybe she did have the lights on her bike, and got hit anyway. Cowardice is the issue here. I don't care if your insurance is lapsed, or if you think there's a warrant outstanding for yourself. Another human being was severely injured, for God's sake, stay there, do what you can to help her, and when the police arrive, take your medicine. I hope this poor girl recovers.

bkreed1960 5 years, 10 months ago

Actually Late Night is tonight and it isn't so late night. I hope Rachel makes a full recovery. For those of you who post, maybe you should follow the rule that if you can't something nice to not say anything at all, especially when it comes to accidents.

ralphralph 5 years, 10 months ago

Prayers for this young lady. Everybody else: watch out for each other.

verity 5 years, 10 months ago

My thoughts are with Rachel and her family and friends.

Please, people who are driving motorized vehicles, always be careful of pedestrians and bicyclists. Even if they perhaps are doing something illegal, it flat doesn't matter. It's a human life.

gsxr600 5 years, 10 months ago

If this actually was a hit and run, I wonder now if the motorist will be able to live with his/herself. It's pretty much on them because with no witnesses or tag #'s this is a cold-case.

pace 5 years, 10 months ago

I find the updating of articles but leaving the original comments to the first report up , not the best approach. I recommend, new comment thread be started for each update. I am sorry for the family and friends of the girl. What a sad event.

oliveoyl 5 years, 10 months ago

My thoughts go out to her friends and family. This is devastating. I sure hope the person responsible for this can't sleep tonight and decides to do the right thing...turn yourself in and take responsibility.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 10 months ago

Drivers in the Downtown area have no idea how to drive around pedestrians. They think that they can blow through a (soft) red light or make a right on red, as long as they can barrel into the intersection before pedestrians have the audacity to cross with the walk light.

A couple of weeks ago, I was about to cross the street at 9th & Mass, with the walk light. There was about 10 seconds left of the light. A younger guy about to cross from the other side sees a car about to make a turn and actually waves the car on to go ahead and go... I quickly pointed out that he shouldn't wave cars on when you have a walk signal.

paavopetie 5 years, 10 months ago

"If you are riding a bike in Lawrence, please do not ride on this street. It is too dangerous even in the daytime."

Bicyclers have a right to be on a street, but avoiding Tennessee and Kentucky Streets, especially at night, just makes sense.

Personally, I bike down Vermont during the day time, heading out to a sidewalk on Mass St. between 14th and 15th Streets. At night, I bike very slowly on the sidewalk of KY/TN, avoiding the west side of TN because it has stairs over certain parts.

parrothead8 5 years, 10 months ago

This is so sad and senseless. If it was indeed a hit-and-run, I hope the driver who left this poor girl to die takes resposibility for his/her action (and inaction).

My thoughts are with Ms. Leek's family and friends.

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

cleavageview, don't start, cause it dont help. families shouldnt read this. people will say what they are going to say. some people do it for understanding, others, who knows why.
but don't tell them not to. it doesn't do anygood

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

this is very sad situation. i hope whoever responsible is found.
condolences to her family

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Kentucky and Tenn could use wider sidewalks and way more street lights because of heavy female, pedestrian and cycling traffic in this area.

RIP Rachel.

ferrislives 5 years, 10 months ago

For those blaming the victim, get a life.

I'm sorry to hear the news. God bless her friends and family.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 10 months ago

It was a bike, and the driver was probably drinking, so maybe they did not know they hit someone. Or if someone figured out what they did after waking up, they are getting a lawyer first to turn themselves in.

RIP

cj123 5 years, 10 months ago

from what a person told me earlier, she was only two houses away from her destination and her boyfriend saw her bike and sirens. thoughts and prayers to the family and friends.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

"A lot of people are: Drinking Alcohol Focused on their cell phones In too big of a hurry"

Or all three

Like what got the deputy sheriff not so long ago who was out for a bike ride.....

begin60 5 years, 10 months ago

Very sorry to hear this. To say the least, Lawrence doesn't feel to me like a very safe place. People don't know how to drive here, and complete strangers feel way too free to get up in your private business in public, ignorantly sure their redneck input will be of help. One of my students went into a long-term coma a few years ago after being hit by a police cruiser in a college town five hours away. Don't trust drivers, and please don't bother strangers on the public streets. Respect everyone's privacy and especially safety--if you bother someone in public and they don't like it you may be causing yourself trouble and potentially endangering your safety and that no others. Zip your thoughtless lips.

notjustastudent 5 years, 10 months ago

For those of you saying "ride on the sidewalk" and even those saying that bicycles have as much right to the street as cars--

It is 100% illegal to ride a bicycle on sidewalks in Lawrence if you are within 100 feet of bussinesses or places of assembly (Section 17-702). So it's not just their right to ride on the street, it might also be the law.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 10 months ago

Some drunks remember what they did the night before, some forget. If this driver (I'm going to JUMP to speculation, per our traditions) was drunk, they honestly may not know they murdered someone.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 10 months ago

I have been driving to work at 5:30 am on dimly lit street and come up on a person on a bike with dark clothing, no lights, no reflectors in the middle of the road. With that said if I hit someone I wouldn't just drive away. Driving cars or bikes are always risky, always. So sad for this young person's family.

gsxr600 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm going to hold off from commenting until there are some actual facts. We know nothing except that there was an incident around 10th and Tennessee around 2am last night involving a 20yr old female that was riding a bicycle. She's now dead. That's it....

However, I think something that needs to be brought to attention is the absolutely terrible lighting on these one-ways. Headlights are aimed to the ground in cars and it's very difficult to see what's coming up ahead, especially when there is next to no lighting on the street, the street is narrow, and there are many obstacles to avoid (doors on parked cars that could suddenly open, drunk college students wandering around, etc)

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 10 months ago

cheeseburger #

was_freashpowder2 (Alexander Neighbors) says… vehicular womanslaughter

What a jerk! Guess we should expecting nothing else from YH!

I put womanslaughter because she was a woman not a man but if it make you happy vehicular Manslaughter

sourpuss 5 years, 10 months ago

OMG, I'm so sorry for her family. I sincerely hope the driver is caught. Even if you accidentally hit someone, that is no excuse to drive away.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

Oh Man I hope they find who did this.

Not cool Alex!

pace 5 years, 10 months ago

If you wonder why someone doesn't protest the deaths on US Roads, it is simple, you aren't out there doing something. Stand up, make a sign, I would join you if you mean it. I miss the old 55 mph limit, it saved lives and energy. I do think the drunk drivers are being dealt with more seriously than when I was a youngster. The loss of this young girl is sad.

W9L 5 years, 10 months ago

Not only do I pray for her and her family,but that they find the one(s) responsible and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

The carnage continues on Lawrence streets.

Kookamooka 5 years, 10 months ago

God Bless her family and friends as they cope with this tragedy. I wish them the very, very deepest, heartfelt condolences.

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 10 months ago

Police need to renew their focus on drinking and driving. This should be priority #1. God bless her family.

weloverachel 5 years, 10 months ago

Her name is Rachel and she was a beautiful human being inside and out. We love her and miss her very much!

nbraceyou 5 years, 10 months ago

rumor has it that the driver and passengers have turned themselves in.

Christine Anderson 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm angry!! This young woman's death is senseless, and could have been avoided. I'm reminded of Edgar Allen Poe's "Telltale Heart." May the person responsible for this be tormented, haunted (literally), until they can't stand it anymore and go running for the nearest police station. Of course, it can never be proven now, but if the driver had stopped, called 911 or yelled for someone to do so, might Rachel still be alive? To the driver, you are a pig. Doing serious jail time is more honorable than running away.

riverdrifter 5 years, 10 months ago

"rumor has it that the driver and passengers have turned themselves in." If, so, good. This would be one hellish skeleton to have in your closet. Right there. Every day. Day after day. For the rest of your life. "This above all: to thine own self be true"

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

I echo the concern for more lighting in this area of substantial student population which means walkers and cyclists.

It would be difficult to believe that no one saw this happen at this busy location even at 2 in the morning.

We'll see.

Wheatfields,her friends and family will be remembering Rachel and are devastated. A difficult time for all concerned.

pissedinlawrence 5 years, 10 months ago

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

Kris_H 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm so sorry for this young woman and her family, friends and coworkers. I hope the person or people who did this are found and prosecuted. I can't imagine anything more cowardly and callous than leaving another human being who you hurt laying in the street alone.

I'm also stunned by the people making jokes on this thread. You are either under the age of thirteen, have never experienced the loss of a loved one, or sociopathic. Maybe all three.

I know, that won't stop you, you can say what you want. But you'll never be respected for it.

christy kennedy 5 years, 10 months ago

Kris, I agree with you, but none of my kids, before they were 13 years old or ever after, would ever joke about a tragedy like this. These people lack a lot of things, empathy being at the top of the list.

Catzilla 5 years, 10 months ago

There but for the grace of god, indeed. Simply tragic. The person who hit her and drove off will have a terribly heavy conscience unless they come forward.

Judith Ward 5 years, 10 months ago

I can't imagine how her family and friends must feel. I'm very sorry for them. She was a lovely, kind young woman.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 10 months ago

at that hour in the morning, it's likely the driver was drunk and never even realized.

5 years, 10 months ago

This is absolutely horrible. I'm so sorry to her family and friends for their loss.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 10 months ago

Even if the driver is never caught, they have to live with knowing what they did for the rest of their life. That will be a weight on their soul until they are caught or confess.

mtk2009 5 years, 10 months ago

I hope the person or persons who did this are aware that she died on her father's birthday. This is an absolute tragedy and they need to turn themselves in!!!

shaunepec 5 years, 10 months ago

As of 11:45 this morning, the Lawrence Police Department could "not confirm" the rumors/information posted in the comments that the driver had turned themselves in. Shaun Hittle Reporter LJW

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 10 months ago

mfowler (Matthew Fowler) says…

Dear LJWorld staff:

Please, for the love of God, disable the “comments” function on stories involving accidents.

It would make the world a better place.

Thank you.


Ditto

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

ksjayhawk74 (Anonymous) says… "Even if the driver is never caught, they have to live with knowing what they did for the rest of their life. That will be a weight on their soul until they are caught or confess."

mtk2009 (Anonymous) says… "I hope the person or persons who did this are aware that she died on her father's birthday."

You're assuming they have conscience yet all the evidence so far suggest they don't.

flyin_squirrel (Anonymous) says… "Police need to renew their focus on drinking and driving. This should be priority #1."

It will never be high priority. Many on the LPD believe this is the price you pay for living in a college party town. Merrill and the Traffic Safety Commissions sees the bike lanes on narrow streets as "traffic calming devices" and bicyclist as little more than human traffic cones. Even if caught and the DA can be bothered to go to trial and get a conviction, judges in Douglas County give sentences of weeks in jail for killing people with cars, drunk or not.

The City of Lawrence gets too much revenue from liquor taxes and times are tough so no one wants go overboard by enforcing current laws on under aged drinking or drunk driving. Besides as more businesses downtown begin to close their doors and the City Commission focuses on sustainability, they need the taxes alcohol generates to sustain the Sustainability Czar.

A few people, like Alexander Neighbors, use the death of a young woman as a opportunity to joke and seem to think the booze cruzin is a victimless crime and any attempt to increase penalties for DWI/DUI is a step down slippery slope eliminating a constitutional right to get hammered and drive drunk. http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2009/sep/dui/

On average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes in US, a few on their fathers birthday. Each day 36 people die and almost 700 more are injured in vehicle crashes that involve a drunk driver, some are beautiful young women with lives yet to be lived.

Annual health care expenditures for alcohol-related problems amounted to $22.5 billion in 1994 and today the total annual cost of alcohol related crashes is roughly $51 billion, enough to provide health care to the majority of the uninsured Americans. In 2006, out of 1,746 fatality that included children one out of six was killed by an alcohol impaired driver. Half of all teenage fatalities is due to drunk driving. In 2007 alcohol related fatalities were 15,387 which is 37% of all automobile fatalities.

So let the blood continue to flow as the bodies pile up on Lawrence streets.

overthemoon 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree on disabling comments for accidents and other tragic information. There is no need for anyone to comment, the comments do nothing to make the situation better.

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

overthemoon (Anonymous) says… "I agree on disabling comments for accidents and other tragic information. There is no need for anyone to comment, the comments do nothing to make the situation better."

mfowler (Matthew Fowler) says… "Please, for the love of God, disable the “comments” function on stories involving accidents."

Boston_Corbett (Anonymous) says… "Ditto"

Better yet, the LJWorld should simply stop reporting stories of tragic accidents or crimes. Only happy stories from now on so we all feel warm and secure and we don't get all upset and stuff.

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 10 months ago

Just a thought, the Wichita Eagle doesn't have comments on stories like this and I don't think they're any worse for it. I realize it is a free speech issue, but this site went for a long time without people being able to comment on anything. Just a thought...

This girl had a lovely smile whenever I saw her, and my heart goes out to her family and friends.

Alexander Neighbors 5 years, 10 months ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says… A few people, like Alexander Neighbors, use the death of a young woman as a opportunity to joke and seem to think the booze cruzin is a victimless crime .


Sigmund you are a moron, it just so happens I have been hit by 3 different cars on 3 different occasions while riding my bicycle. While I dont know the specifics of what happened in her case, if you slip on paying attention once your toast. People in cars get angry and they dont care about bikers or pedestrians they will even try to hit you if your not all the across the street when your on the cross walk .

dont think I am using this opportunity to make a joke Dont make assumptions unless you know me. Notice there was no LOL at the end of my comment.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 10 months ago

Ok Alex we will assume youw ere not making a joke but at the very least your comment was tastless and insensitive.

BMI 5 years, 10 months ago

was_freashpowder2 it just so happens I have been hit by 3 different cars on 3 different occasions while riding my bicycle.

You're just begging for it aren't you. But this isn't the place. Would you put it on a blog please? Then they can let 'er rip.

jimmyjms 5 years, 10 months ago

I knew Ms. Leek in passing, from being a customer at Wheatfields.

This is a tragedy, and I offer my most sincere condolences to her family and friends, and her coworkers at Wheatfields.

If anyone knows anything, for God's sake, report it. The bastard that did this should be punished. An accident is an accident, but leaving the scene when immediate help might have changed the outcome is unforgivable.

notjustastudent 5 years, 10 months ago

I have to disagree with comments on these articles being disabled. There have been many, many posts expressing condolences, and not all the discussion has been in vain. I wholeheartedly agree with Tom Paine's post- not only was it not insulting, belittling, angry, etc., it had a point, and the point was to do something positive. To have an impact on the future. Sure, people should already have the "community ethics" you spoke of, but every place is different, affected by different issues, governed by different laws. Education is never a bad thing, and obviously, if it saves just one life, it is a very good thing.

Sigmund 5 years, 10 months ago

was_freashpowder2 (Alexander Neighbors) says… "dont think I am using this opportunity to make a joke Dont make assumptions unless you know me. Notice there was no LOL at the end of my comment."

I wasn't making any assumptions and didn't realize we required a "LOL" to indicate a joke. Regardless how else are we to take your comments considering your previous post?

was_freashpowder2 (Alexander Neighbors) says… Fill in the blanks**

Should there be a “lifetime lookback” when courts consider sentencing for those with repeat ____ convictions?

1.speeding 2.DUI 3.Assault 4.Disorderly conduct 5.noise violation 6.DWII 7.Stop sign violation

slippery slope it is when you give up civil liberties http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2009/sep/dui/#c990208


As I noted then, the only blank that needs to be filled in is your brain. There is no right or civil liberty to drive drunk. Of the items you listed, not one matches the carnage of DUI. This isn't some victimless crime, no LOL.

distressed 5 years, 10 months ago

THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE AND GOD HAVE MERCY ON THOSE THAT RIDICULE RACHEL!!! R.I.P.

Kelly Cline 5 years, 10 months ago

I am so saddened by this story and even more upset by the comments that follow it. Please LJW, I agree that comments should not be allowed on stories such as these. Imagine what her family is going through and also friends and co-workers. No need for any comments except for those that give prayer and thought to her family. What if this were your child?

Motivation 5 years, 10 months ago

I am surprised that the security cameras on the outside of the buildings were unable to catch anything??

My prayers go out to the victim's family, poor thing, on her way home from work. This was definitely trajic.

distressed 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey Jim and Sarah, we are ALL praying for you!!!! We are praying for Rachel too!!!

kreese 5 years, 10 months ago

Just to let you know, the police do know who did this. One of the riders in the car reported it. My prayers are with the family. I hope justice is served.

nbraceyou 5 years, 10 months ago

I posted it on Friday that the police have the driver....but still no word from the PD. Is it under investigation or not....come on lawrence PD. I also know the individuals involved and they have turned themselves in. So when does the public have the right to know that the ones involved are found. The three individuals know who you are!!!!! Stop the senseless drinking and driving now!!!!!

nbraceyou 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, it was posted on Saturday morning....

blackwalnut 5 years, 10 months ago

She was friendly and kind and I will miss seeing her at Wheatfields. I am just a regular customer but even I could see there was something special about her. She was not just friendly and kind, she acted as if she recognized you personally and was genuinely glad to see you. Bless her soul.

Reuben Turner 5 years, 10 months ago

whomever did it, ought to turn theirself in. be a man or woman about and turn yourself in.

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