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Archive for Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter weather advisory for Douglas County expires; multiple injury accidents reported on area highways

Lawrence police returned to normal operations

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical work the scene of a two vehicle accident west of Lawrence on US Highway 40 about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. One person was transported after being extracted from truck.

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical work the scene of a two vehicle accident west of Lawrence on US Highway 40 about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. One person was transported after being extracted from truck.

December 15, 2010, 4:51 p.m. Updated December 16, 2010, 7:06 a.m.

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Kansas weather updates, via Twitter
Two vehicles were involved in a rollover accident on Highway 40, west of the K-10 bypass Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. One person was taken to Stormont-Vail with serious injuries.

Two vehicles were involved in a rollover accident on Highway 40, west of the K-10 bypass Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. One person was taken to Stormont-Vail with serious injuries.

Freezing drizzle and icy conditions caused chaos and dozens of accidents on Lawrence and Douglas County roads Wednesday night.

Some motorists spent nearly two-and-a-half hours in their cars after an accident on U.S. Highway 59 near Pleasant Grove caused a backup stretching for more than 5 miles, witnesses and law enforcement reported.

Though no serious injuries were reported in that accident, at least one driver was taken to a Topeka-area hospital after an accident west of Lawrence on Highway 40. According to Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Joe Hoelscher, one person was transported to Stormont-Vail Healthcare in Topeka with serious injuries. Two children in the same vehicle were not injured.

Another serious accident, about 6:50 p.m., caused Kansas Highway 10 to be shut down until after 9 p.m. At least six people were reported to have injuries and four were taken to a local hospital.

Other significant accidents were reported near Baldwin City on County Road 1055, on the Kansas Turnpike at mileposts 192 (twice), 193 and 212; on U.S. Highway 40 at County Road 1029; in the 3000 block of Louisiana Street; in the 1500 block of Wakarusa Drive, near the intersection of North 1075 Road and East 1150 Road; and on Leavenworth County Road 1 north of the Kansas River.

Dozens of other noninjury accidents were reported on roads throughout Lawrence and Douglas County. One of those involved a Lawrence “T” bus that was involved in an accident at Naismith Drive and 23rd Street. Lawrence police Sgt. Dave Hubbel said that from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. there were about 50 noninjury accidents reported to go along with four injury accidents. Hubbel said many minor accidents had not yet been reported.

The sheer number of accidents caused Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical to institute emergency callback procedures and to activate all of their available ambulances. One ambulance reported having to pull over on the side of the road to wait for a salt and sand truck to escort it to the hospital because it was unable to maintain traction. Division Chief Hoelscher said emergency crews responded to 22 medical alarms between 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. They usually field 25-30 calls during a typical 24-hour span.

The Kansas Department of Transportation, Douglas County Emergency Management Agency, Lawrence Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff’s offices all repeatedly called for motorists to stay home.

Megan Gilliand, a spokeswoman for the city of Lawrence, said crews were out treating roads Wednesday night and would work through the night and into this morning to try to treat roads before morning rush hour. During the height of the storm, Lawrence police and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies all stopped responding to nonemergency calls. As roads were treated and improved, police returned to normal operations, fielding all calls.

The National Weather Service said ice in Lawrence tapered off late Wednesday night. The Kansas Department of Transportation reported via Twitter Thursday morning that most highways in metro and rural areas were in good shape for driving, though slick spots remained on untreated side streets.

Drivers can check road conditions from the Kansas Department of Transportation at kandrive.org.

Comments

Tmerritt 3 years, 4 months ago

At 8:15 I took 59 south out of lawrence as far as that accident jam and then just went east and south on the dirt roads (no ice! I was hauling...) to 56 and right back to 59 on the other side of the accident. I was in sitting in the I-35 south turnpike service area when people were finally getting through that section of road

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notorious_agenda 3 years, 4 months ago

I saw all of the people in the K-10 accident pass the salt truck not 1 min before the smash up that happened. The area in front of that truck of course had not been salted and the road was mostly ice. By the time I got over the next hill they had all collided. I am happy to say I saw a Lot of people pull over to help.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

No matter how much you paid for your vehicle, you still have to obey the laws of physics.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 4 months ago

Award to Riverdrifter for proper use of "addlepated" in apost!

riverdrifter (anonymous) replies …

This event really marks the first time I've ever heard a county dispatcher totally addlepated. Must be really bad out there...

---Whitney and Jonathan, given the real time nature of this, you guys do a truly amazing job putting up the vital info, and that with so few typos and grammar problems!

the Dissociated Press could surely learn from you!

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riverdrifter 3 years, 4 months ago

"I was out the for an hour and a half on 4 wheelers helping people."

Dipstick, one-off comment. Try again, Dil.

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kujayhawks142 3 years, 4 months ago

I was out on 4 wheelers on 59 highway for an hour and a half helping people. While the amazing law enforcement of the beautiful state of Kansas stood there with there mouths open drooling.

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kujayhawks142 3 years, 4 months ago

I was out the for an hour and a half on 4 wheelers helping people. And of course the amazing cops in the beautiful state of kansas stood there with there mouths open drooling.

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creamygnome 3 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence roads aren't good At least, as of about 9:30. I just drove from Lawrence to Topeka on the turnpike. Saw 14 vehicles off the side of the road. 12 of them on my west bound lane. Could've been more on the east bound. The highway felt find to me, though. It was driving through Lawrence that was a bit rough. Whatever that mini-highway on the south end of town that eventually wraps around to 6th street or further down the turnpike was slick the entire way. I did slide on 10th street here right at Topeka BLVD., that was the only major issue I ran into, but I was driving 15 below the limit most of the time.

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overthemoon 3 years, 4 months ago

I've been facebooking with a friend traveling from Chicago to Austin. She's been stuck on hwy 44 east of Springfield for an hour with no movement. Looks like a wide spread issue.

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Staci Dark Simpson 3 years, 4 months ago

So how are the roads in Lawrence? They are awful here in Baldwin. I was never this nervous driving in last years snow. It took one of my friends 4 hours to get home from Lawrence.

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mom_of_three 3 years, 4 months ago

anyone know the status on the K-10 connector buses?

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wmathews 3 years, 4 months ago

We do have a school closing already. Baldwin City. Keep checking here for the latest closings info: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/dec/15/school-district-348-baldwin-city-cancels-thursday-/

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xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

does anyone know if there is a number we can call to check and see if there are accidents along our route home? Like say on K10 to Olathe?

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kernal 3 years, 4 months ago

Just checked the forecast for tomorrow morning; looks like it's going to be cloudy and in the mid-20's until about 11am, so sidewalks, steps and parking lots may be slicker than ...

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mr_right_wing 3 years, 4 months ago

Go home and stay there already!! Whatever you need to do can be done tomorrow...

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 4 months ago

Just back from KC, I drove fine, until saw three cars in ditch near Desoto. K-10 was blocked off still.

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Staci Dark Simpson 3 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence will not call school until hell freezes over. Oh wait....

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HollisBrown 3 years, 4 months ago

I must say, though they've spanked me many times, JK and Whitney are doing a fine job. I have a J-School degree from KU, but I don't think I could take all the 24/7 nonsense. Keep up the good work!!

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piercedoff89 3 years, 4 months ago

JK, any chance of the KU campus being closed for a 7:30 am final? or will everything be treated and cleared by then?

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Scott Morgan 3 years, 4 months ago

C'mon folks are there really serious people who critique typos on blog type entries? Big thanks John and Whitney, perhaps you should write a pc. on how tough it is to keep the ink flowing on small town newspapers nowadays.

I certainly agree, would rather have quick info than perfect articles.

No matter you politicul leenuns, we shoud be berry chery happiness for the locul papur. I find it amazing how much information the LJW puts out per day.

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Hudson Luce 3 years, 4 months ago

Drove from West Lawrence to Topeka, East Exit on Kansas Turnpike, started about 6:45. Road started to get really slick at mile marker 196, where the big hill is. I've got an all-wheel-drive Subaru, but I'm chicken and kept the speed down to about 20 mph on the downhill parts and had one tire over on the rumble strip, with AWD there's enough traction to slow down and stop if need be.

Road got really bad on the hill west of mile marker 193, there were cars and trucks off the road, some in the ditch, slowed down to 10 mph and took it really easy down the hill, eventually got off at the Topeka Service Area, where in the gas pump area the concrete was as slick as a skating rink.

Proceeded to East Topeka exit, tons more cars and trucks off the road, just kept on and took it easy on into Topeka. The slickest part was on the final six-block stretch up a hill, almost had to go on the curb to get traction - but not quite. There was one place on the Turnpike, about 50 feet, where I felt my ABS start to take hold, otherwise it was OK.

Home at 7:45 pm. Saw no salt or sand anywhere on Turnpike or in Topeka or in Lawrence, except for the exit from the Topeka Service Area to the Turnpike, for the entire trip. Someone could have loaded up a salt truck and gotten out there and put some salt/sand on the road by 6:45, much less by 7:30, but the only salt truck I saw was headed eastbound on the Turnpike at mile marker 184 at about 7:15pm, and that was it. Made it safely home on the roads - and then damn near fell on my back step...

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catfishturkeyhunter 3 years, 4 months ago

How is it that we can put a man on the moon, but we can't seem to figure out how to salt the roads before an ice/snow storm hits. Then the city of Lawrence and Ottawa wants to turn around and bust everybody's chops about shoveling the sidewalks. Hows that work. Either you break your back shoveling snow or get a fat ticket. On the flip side, the county and the city can either do nothing or they can do nothing and get away with it. Its no wonder people go postal..

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irvan moore 3 years, 4 months ago

i like the lawrencepolicescanner site.

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HollisBrown 3 years, 4 months ago

If you don't like my driving, stay out of the bathroom. Or something like that......

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kseagle 3 years, 4 months ago

Let's see.....they have only been predicting the weather to get like this for 2 days.....and the crews are just now getting out and doing something with the salt.....LAZY!!!! Time to do a review of their pay and their departments for possible cut backs and replacements.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 4 months ago

sitting in Baldwin City. I went home on the back road with the usual speeding neckcar I mean nascar drivers speeding behind me before it got bad. Stopped in Baldwin for a bit and the ice started up. The brick roads on 8th and west on High were like an ice rink. I saw a corolla spinning out climbing up High St. It took about fifteen minutes to go across Baldwin City. I had to bright people to get them to slow down and not hit me. People wrongly think they're impervious to accidents. No one is on our road right now. I hope the roads are clear in the morning.....

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whatamess 3 years, 4 months ago

okay, for those of you checking on mobile devices. If trying to head S on 59. turn around!!! head east on Wells overlook road, cut through baldwin (56), go back on to 59!. WHY the cops aren't out diverting traffic and getting people to turn around is beyond me. I would be stuck in that crap another 2 hours if I didn't try it. The North bound lane is now salted and at reasonble speeds (20-35 mph) you can make it to baldwin or eudora the back way...cake. Stay safe and COPS, get the freak out to Well's overlook road and keep traffic off of 59 till it clears...idiots!

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HollisBrown 3 years, 4 months ago

I wish I had me a police scanner. I heard there's a website for that. Anybody know?

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HollisBrown 3 years, 4 months ago

I just pulled an incredible Tokyo Drift in a parking lot. I hit 3 parked cars in the process, but what the hell!!!

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Steve Bradt 3 years, 4 months ago

JK, any news on the power outage from 17th to 15th on Barker Ave?

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lorimphd 3 years, 4 months ago

They are still re-routing people from K-10 Westbound to 15th street.

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Beth Bird 3 years, 4 months ago

Really bad accident on Southbound I-35 by Wellsville - had to close the interstate.

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 4 months ago

No fatalities. That is good news.

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candyapplered 3 years, 4 months ago

I hates then dern copei eddtors.

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beebo 3 years, 4 months ago

HWY 59: They've been sitting in ONE PLACE for almost TWO HOURS!!!!

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candyapplered 3 years, 4 months ago

Peeple serous cain't draav, speshaly don nerr k10 at the biz parkee. Serv em rite dravvin so dern fast.

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password 3 years, 4 months ago

The post under the pic says "Pne person was transported after being extracted from truck". Maybe someone at LJW should edit that. .

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g_rock 3 years, 4 months ago

At first, I just thought that folks weren't using their brains while driving. But then I took a couple of turns that didn't go quite as planned myself. And some folks behind me in a parking lot were entertained by my flailing arms as I tried not to assplant in the parking lot. Crazy how slick it is out there for such a thin layer of ice!

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scopi_guy 3 years, 4 months ago

Left work about 6PM to run some errands, then came back to finish up. Main streets like Iowa and 23rd were OK, but came back down on 21st and it was pretty slick. Looked like some salt had been put down on Louisiana by Walgreens. Parking lot is slick as heck.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 4 months ago

Listening to the scanner, it is an absolute nightmare out there tonight. Godspeed to the all the responders.

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sierraclub 3 years, 4 months ago

All the LJworld and the City had to do was to watch Fox 4 news last night and they would have known about the weather coming in tonight!

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

How about if jobs let people off early when they know this type of weather is on the way? I noticed some drizzle about 1 PM when returning from KCMO today.

I say weather is a good reason to give people time off early. Sure predictions might be wrong once in a while buttttttttt anything is better than tons of car accidents,injuries or death.

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Laura Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

There's something happening near Kanwaka Hall on 40 west of town. My mom is stuck in traffic there.

On the other hand, I got home, just west of Iowa and north of 31st, about twenty minutes ago and found no ice at all on my driveway or the city streets and it was barely misting. I felt kind of silly that I'd been creeping along at 20 mph in 45 mph zones.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 4 months ago

They treated HWY24 northeast of Lawrence with anti-icing a week ago, wonder if it is still effective? #ksstorms

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Ignignokt 3 years, 4 months ago

Man, it sounds like those firefighters are working hard tonight, I'm glad I'm not out there: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?feedId=2178

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kernal 3 years, 4 months ago

I see the forcast was changed at TWC the last few hours. Now showing fog for tonight as well. Guess that could turn into freezing fog?

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Chris Ogle 3 years, 4 months ago

Driving from Baldwin to old Zarco road off of 59 highway about 5:30pm. Several accidents on 59, Baldwin Hill (1055) closed. I was sliding on the new pavement going only 20 MPH. Once coming to a near stop, the car in front of me slid into the ditch. They need salt ASAP.

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jackpot 3 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps a dozen injury accidents were reported within an hour in Douglas County between 4:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Long Hour!!

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Aileen Dingus 3 years, 4 months ago

I went down 59 from Lawrence to Ottawa at about 4:45. That first "jug handle" where Zarco used to be was the worst- my car's back end skittered out getting on to it, and then again getting off. Speed limit 55, I was doing about 40. Guess I should have been going even slower!

That new pavement is terrible in weather like this. I'd almost rather have full on snow than this innocent-looking mist.

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rickie546 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey jonathan is city crews out? I drove across town and saw 0. The roads are getting much worse and they knew this was coming.

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Staci Dark Simpson 3 years, 4 months ago

Terrible getting home tonight. Just driving along the back way from Lawrence to Baldwin and slid sideways crossing a small bridge on a curve. Baldwin hill closed and it is a sheet of ice everywhere. Now the 59 is closed too. Good luck getting home.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 4 months ago

I came by the accident minutes after it happened. It was not slick at the bottom of the hill but by the time I got to the cut at the top it was like grease. 4WD and good tires got me on up the hill and out of there. Good idea to close it until they got brine or salt & sand down.

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candyapplered 3 years, 4 months ago

sum peeple jus cain't drav. usually it's the ones with the suvs.

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jackpot 3 years, 4 months ago

When did Lawrence and Kansas city move? Last I knew they were EAST of Topeka.

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overthemoon 3 years, 4 months ago

odd. forecast I'm looking at says nothing about precipitation.

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