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Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two children killed, three people injured in Jefferson County car crash

One person was treated and released while the other two, one a child, remain in the hospital.

July 28, 2010, 10:33 a.m. Updated July 28, 2010, 4:26 p.m.

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134th and Meriden Road
Two children were killed in a car crash on 134th and Meriden in Jefferson County on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Two children were killed in a car crash on 134th and Meriden in Jefferson County on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Two children were killed in a car crash on 134th and Meriden in Jefferson County on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Two children were killed in a car crash on 134th and Meriden in Jefferson County on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Two children were killed and three people — including another child — were injured in a car accident in rural Jefferson County on Wednesday morning.

A1996 Oldsmobile was traveling eastbound on 134th Street when it failed to yield to a 2002 Chevy TrailBlazer, which was traveling southbound on Meriden Road just before 8 a.m., a Kansas Highway Patrol report said.

The TrailBlazer struck the driver's side of the Oldsmobile, killing Katelynn Spencer, 8, and Alissa Spencer, 5, both of Meriden.

Madelynn Spencer, 4, was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital with critical injuries via LifeStar helicopter. The driver of the Oldsmobile, Stephanie Spencer, 33, was taken to Stormont Vail in serious condition, also via helicopter.

According to KHP, no one in the Oldsmobile was wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the TrailBlazer, Robert Hutchins, 27, of Valley Falls, was taken to Stormont Vail with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials at the scene said weeds growing near the intersection may have created a blind spot for drivers. Witnesses said the Oldsmobile did stop at the stop sign at the intersection and investigators found evidence at the scene to support those reports. Meriden Road does not have a stop sign at the intersection.

Comments

purplesage 3 years, 8 months ago

Good questions, each of them deserving an answer more complete than the one I am going to give:

I hope none of you ever endures the pain of losing a child in a traffic accident (or from any other cause, for that matter) but it does affect one's point of view on this question of "chargeability". I know.

There is neglect in not using restraints - but it is not the kind that is associated with some of the awful things children endure at the hands of adults in their lives.

The weeds have no moral accountability - yet they could well be a factor. What about trees and power poles that stand a matter of feet from traveled right of way? They ought to be cut down or moved a safe distance.

Yes, I do think that the closeness of relationship affects this question to some degree. It isn't the same thing as if someone got intoxicated and drove . . . and killed innocent people.

Accidents do happen. It is a part of life in an imperfect and broken world. There are always ways, some more egregious than others, in which things could have been prevented. Not everything has to become a criminal matter. Can you imagine the torment this family is enduring - and how their grief would be unspeakably compounded by the spectacle of a trial.

And yes, I cringe when I see children sandwiched between a parent and a steering wheel loaded with an air bag.

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Starlight 3 years, 8 months ago

Laws don't work unless they're enforced. Had this woman been criminally charged before this incident perhaps her children would still be alive(that is if the fine had actually induced her to safely transport her children after that). purplesage there's nothing insensitive about pointing out criminal reckless endangerment of children, especially if it's their mother. What, are you one of those imbeciles who drive down the road with an infant in their lap?? Need a little extra cushion between you and the steering wheel? This behavior especially incenses me. Suffer the little children unto their parents neglect. It is what it is. It is preventable. No excuse.

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nanimwe 3 years, 8 months ago

I thought the new seat belt law was supposed to eliminate this kind of tragedy... So much for legislation actually working.

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timster 3 years, 8 months ago

thank you for your blessings I will pass them on to the other family members. if any one would like to have more information or contribute to a memorial fund you can contact me at timnpam@wildblue.net I am related to the family and see the father daily so I will pass on any prayers.

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timster 3 years, 8 months ago

thank you for your blessings I will pass them on to the other family members.

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timster 3 years, 8 months ago

thank you for your blessings I will pass them on to the other family members.

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purplesage 3 years, 8 months ago

WhiteDog - How unbelievably insensitive. The woman has lost 2 of her children. We haven't read about the dad yet, or the grandparents. Isn't this punishment enough. Charged criminally - how about a little compassion? If she survives, the question of whether the children may have lived because of a seat belt / restraint seat will ALWAYS be with her. What you you do? Lock her up and take her away from the other daughter, if she survives?

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purplesage 3 years, 8 months ago

Meriden Road is K-4; unless distracted, I doubt she ran the stop sign as we sometimes see out in the country "where no one is coming anyhow." I wonder if Jefferson County or KDOT need to get on the stick and mow and cut down trees. I did see that crops had been cut back at Midland Junction where a similar obstruction occurred.

I lament the loss of life, especially because little ones were killed. A family has been decimated in any instant - a reminder of the fragile nature of life. I hope and pray the mother and remaining daughter recover physically and know there will be wounds of the heart which will always be with the family as well as the SUV's driver.

By the way, channel 6, the individual you identify as Tim McCool, KHP is actually Sheriff Jeff Herrig.

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Deja Coffin 3 years, 8 months ago

I just can't stop thinking about this accident. I just want to cry and my heart aches so deeply for this mother and their family. This really hit close to home with me. My oldest daughter is 5 and about 6 months ago both my daughters age 5 and 3 years old were riding in a truck with their grandpa on a gravel road to my in-laws house when they were T-boned at an intersection that had no stop signs. It was right around sunset, both vehicles were totaled. Everyone in the truck were pinned in by the other vehicle and a wooden post. They had to rip the door off to get them out. Luckily my babies were in their car seats and both grown-ups involved were wearing their seat belts. The worse injury was an ugly bruise on my oldest daughters arm. But I can't stop sitting here and thinking about how lucky we were and what a horrible loss this family is going through. I just wish there was something I could do for this family when I know there's not a lot anyone can do or say. Is there an update on the youngest child? I've heard things but was wondering if there was something official. I will keep praying for this family and pray for the other driver. I'm sure he's going through a lot right now emotionally also even when there may have been nothing he could have done.

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Kontum1972 3 years, 8 months ago

"STOP" signs mean nothing...."CROSSING GUARDS" during school season mean nothing.... but kill someone...then the reality comes thru....then it is too late....

come up on Kasold and catch the races, when a person is in the crosswalk cars enter the intersection slowly creeping up as the person is crossing and once that person has move out of that lane the car whizzes by... SoS folks.

I am sadden by the loss of these children. :-((

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thepianoman 3 years, 8 months ago

LJWorld, you have done a terrible job reporting this story. I am so freaking confused about what happened. What sloppy, incompetent reporting you have done. Focus on getting the facts straight rather than being the first to post it.

This is inexcusable.

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kernal 3 years, 8 months ago

Although some think charges should be filed against the mother, I would think the death of two of her children is punishment enough.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 8 months ago

Unless they have changed the story....I see no where about kids being ejected. To put blame on a parent during a tragedy of losing two small children is coldhearted at best. My thoughts are with the family during this terrible time.

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none2 3 years, 8 months ago

I feel sorry for the family. No one should die before their time -- especially little children.

I have to say that I can understand the anger when there is a death, but why direct it at the mother? She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. What are the odds that any other even will ever come close to affecting her like this has? Assuming she and the littlest girl survives and get well, imagine what will go through her mind every time she sees other little girls that remind her of her other two daughters?

I'm not excusing mistakes, but when you think of all the things parents need to think about every second of the day and night to protect their children, I guess I don't feel it in me to judge her.

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Kelly Johnson 3 years, 8 months ago

Sad. Angry. This shouldn't have happened.

I'm so sorry for all the surviving family members for this devastating loss.

I've seen at least 3 children not buckled in recently (three separate incidents). So frustrating.

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Starlight 3 years, 8 months ago

WhiteDog beat me to it. Too bad the woman's severest punishment will be a lifetime of knowing her reckless endangerment of her children led to their deaths. Sad and preventable and difficult to believe it's still so common.

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Patrick Rooney 3 years, 8 months ago

One moment of doubt casued a lifetime of hurt.. Buckle your kids up people, duct tape them if you have to. (not really) but be safe and smart. Preventable deaths.... Prayers to all envolved.

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Amy Heeter 3 years, 8 months ago

So sad. There is always time to buckle up.

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mommylovesyou 3 years, 8 months ago

I completely agree with WhiteDog. I am very saddened to here about these two little children losing their lives. My prayers are with this family. As far as the mother, my heart goes out for her, two of her babies are gone. But I also have to agree that there should be charges filed. There are to many children not wearing seatbelts. It is strictly the parents responsibility to make sure that their children are safe and buckled up before leaving. Letting this mother go without any charges, is telling the country that is alright not to buckle your kids up. Please, anyone reading this article, if you have children, next time you put them in the car BUCKLE THEM UP! Again, my prayers are with this family!

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LoveThsLife 3 years, 8 months ago

I've worked with kids who have had extensive brain injury due to being ejected out of vehicle. I hope the 4 year old heals okay...that's a long and very difficult road to go.

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WhiteDog 3 years, 8 months ago

I am sad and angry in equal measures. Two of the three children should have been in booster seats, and all three should have been in seatbelts. None of them were, and they all ended up ejected from their vehicle.

The vegetation at the intersection is not to blame here. That lies firmly on the mother's shoulders. Her true punishment will be, of course, that she is responsible for her children's deaths and injuries and she'll have to live with that her whole life. But she needs to be charged criminally as well.

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onlymee 3 years, 8 months ago

p>www.ktka.com ,it gives everyones name involved,,god bless all involved

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crosstownbytch1 3 years, 8 months ago

Go to the link for kdot they have released the names..thoughts and prayers go out to the families

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Deja Coffin 3 years, 8 months ago

This is absolutely horrible... my thoughts and prayers go out to all parties involved and their families. Do we know the ages of the victims? I know personal information may not be able to be given out yet but I was just curious on the non-specifics. I will be thinking of these families and praying for the recovery of the victims who are still alive.

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LoveThsLife 3 years, 8 months ago

This is horrible. My thoughts are with all involved and their family members.

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redmorgan 3 years, 8 months ago

My heart just sank when I read this headline. I will have to hug and kiss my child a few extra times today. Poor family...my thoughts and prayers are with them.

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solitude518 3 years, 8 months ago

God Bless this family..such a horrible loss.

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Charlie Sabotage 3 years, 8 months ago

this is horrifying. What does a parent do when they lose a child let alone two and has a third in critical condition? i can't even imagine. R.I.P. small lovely children. And thoughts to the family

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davidmcg 3 years, 8 months ago

I called this in to LJ World this morning at 07:51AM when it happened. The woman that answered didn't seem interested. When I called back about 25 minutes later to tell her that there were 2 fatalities and a funeral home contacted, family had been notified, and where the 2 helicopters and ambulances were headed, she again did not seem interested. Never asked me on question either time I called. After my second call I emailed the managing editor. No reply yet. It took LJ World how long to post this information, 3 hours? LJ World not ready for prime time? Sure seems like it sometimes.

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MacHeath 3 years, 8 months ago

I love tooling around on country roads, but you have to watch the intersections, stop signs or not. Condolences to all involved. Very bad deal.

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Rae Hudspeth 3 years, 8 months ago

Check the link: "Witnesses told investigators that the Oldsmobile did stop at the intersection. Investigators also found physical evidence at the scene that the Oldsmobile did come to a stop. "

Editor, please!

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Patrick Rooney 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree. Buckle up and slow down such a waste of life over a few minutes late or something...

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bd 3 years, 8 months ago

Very sad indeed!

weeds(corn) is not the issue, they should not have ran the stop sign! We all need to slow down!

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sassypants 3 years, 8 months ago

"Officials at the scene said weeds growing near the intersection may have created a blind spot for drivers." You mean cornfield.

I hate it when you are at an intersection and cant see because of the corn that is 6-8 ft tall. Farmers should be required to omit a few rows where intersections are.

My Prayers to all involved.

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TrooGrit 3 years, 8 months ago

This is truly sad. Truly. If the vegetation had a part in causing this accident, shame on KDOT for letting this atrocity occur. I suspect, however, that seat belts may have been an issue, as well. Sad, truly sad.

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Patrick Rooney 3 years, 8 months ago

Rip kids. Hope the other child and driver make it. Scary world we live in. Careful out there. Hope all familes involved know our prayers are with you. ~R

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greenworld 3 years, 8 months ago

Topeka paper always gets names and ages before the lawrence paper does.

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countrygirl 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh man. Please care enough about your children to be sure they are safely buckled in.

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coldplay 3 years, 8 months ago

Consumer....it's all about page clicks.

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consumer1 3 years, 8 months ago

What bothers me is the LJW prints this kind of stuff for the purpose of sensationalism and shock. Wihtout any details this will make every father, brother sister aunt uncle etc worry if this may be their loved ones. Why try to beat everyone to the punch with such minimal details? I feel horible for the person who reads this and has thoughts it may be his wife and daughter or son. What is the purpose LJW?

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rodentgirl16 3 years, 8 months ago

This makes me sick to my stomach. How awful!

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