Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, July 29, 2010

Third child dies after car accident in Jefferson County

Madelynn Spencer was taken off life support Thursday afternoon.

July 29, 2010

Advertisement

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.

A third child has died from injuries she received in a two-vehicle accident Wednesday morning in northwestern Jefferson County, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Trooper Tim McCool said 4-year-old Madelynn Spencer died Thursday afternoon at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Eight-year-old Katelynn Spencer and 5-year-old Alissa Spencer died Wednesday, after the accident at 134th Street and Meriden Road.

About 7:50 a.m. Wednesday, Stephanie Spencer was driving a 1996 Oldsmobile east on 134th Street when it collided with a 2002 Chevy TrailBlazer traveling south on Meriden Road. Spencer was taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka, where she remained on Thursday.

The driver of the TrailBlazer, Robert Hutchins, 27, of Valley Falls, was treated and released Wednesday from Stormont-Vail.

According to KHP, none of the Spencers was wearing a seat belt.

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

Comments

Odeo 2 years, 7 months ago

"Because of the sensitive nature of this story, LJWorld.com editors are approving comments before they go live. Comments that are submitted will be reviewed quickly by an editor, and will be posted if they meet our specific guidelines for these comment threads. If they don't meet those guidelines, they may be allowed to go live later, or they may be deleted from the system."

Well done, LJW. And, agreed.

Dear Spencer Family,

I just clicked on this link tonight. I know it is late and do not wish for anyone to have to re-live this horrible time of loss. I would like to say I am so sorry for what happened, though. I believe in God. And all are in God's hands. I give you all my prayer.

0

Kris_H 3 years, 8 months ago

What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to all involved.

Though everyone is naturally shocked and grieved, the issue of seat belts is still important. When I was a child, cars didn't yet come with them. We crawled all over the back of the station wagon completely unrestrained, and in an accident like this one would likely have been killed or very seriously injured as well. Thanks be that did not happen to us! I remember accidents where it did happen to others, though.

Recently I was in a relatively minor accident where we were broadsided by a car that ran a stop sign. My friend's car was totalled. He was somewhat injured, still having some shoulder problems, and I had bruises--from the seat belt tightening up on me and keeping me from flying off the seat into the dash while we were spinning around 180 degrees. I know for certain I would have had more than bruises had I not been belted in, and it happened three blocks from my house.

Please, please, properly restrain your children and yourself in the vehicle, no matter where you live, how far you are going, or how much the kids don't like it. Please.

0

LoveThsLife 3 years, 8 months ago

LJWorld any update on the mother's condition?

0

grlscout4lfe 3 years, 8 months ago

If anyone would like to give donations to this to the family please contact Exchange Bank in Atchison, KS or Kendall State Bank in Valley Falls, KS both C/O Spencer Children

0

Amy Heeter 3 years, 8 months ago

I suppose in time the law and insurance adjusters will weigh in on this, but not today. Today the only thing anyone should be thinking about is the tragic losses here. The mother may not even know that her children are gone.When she does her torment will be intense. Yes it was a grave error in judgement to not make sure the children were buckled in. In my mind I imagine the mother here was taking her children on a morning trip to daycare or grandma's for the day. I bet it was a trip she had taken many times on that very road without incident. None of us really ever know if that one error will be the one that changes our life forever. Instead of getting on here judging a woman who may not even be conscious, we should all be thankful that it is not one of us who has to wake up and face this.I do not know the mother or the children in this situation. To my knowledge I do not know anyone related to them, but I feel literally sick at the thought of three children who's lives are over and too I feel sadness for the mother who will never hold her children again or kiss them goodnight..

0

none2 3 years, 8 months ago

I too think this is really a sad story, and I feel for both the mother and family who lost the children as well as the man in the other vehicle who was in the other vehicle.

I still have a hard time understanding why so many are rushing to judgement on the mother. Perhaps it is because I was from a generation before there were mandatory seat belts. I remember my family having a mechanic INSTALL seat belts to our 1962 FORD Galaxy because seat belts didn't come with the vehicle. I also remember when some people argued that safety belts were not always the best thing in an accident. Most of them were of the mind that you could end up trapped -- for instance if the car caught on fire or the car was in rising water. I think over the years most studies have indicated that the risk of injury or death from being trapped is significantly less than being a human projectile.

I'm not a parent, but I do know that there are SO many risks that a child has each and every second. That is why it is hard for me to judge these horrible mistakes. Perhaps it helps to think of an example of something similar so that emotions of readers isn't so tied to this particular story...

What if someone's child dies from a head injury from an accident involving a bicycle and that the death most likely would have been avoided had the child been wearing a helmet?

Most probably know that one's head is the biggest risk for injury and death for bicycles and/or motorcycle accidents. Is the state of Kansas immoral for not having a helmet law at least for children? (In Kansas, only the city of Lawrence requires bike helmets for children under 16.) Should the parents in this scenario be punished? I would find it hard to pass judgement.

0

MacHeath 3 years, 8 months ago

I have driven those types of roads a lot. I have know several folks that have been killed or badly injured at this types of intersections. They were all good people. It is sometimes very difficult to see if someone is coming down an intersecting road in the country for a whole lot of reasons. I will not pass judgement on the Mother of those poor children. I will go as far to say that there is something severely wrong with a person that would. Either ignorance, or a personality flaw, or a combination on both. What a tragic story. I feel bad for the drivers of both cars, and to think a Mother lost 3 children in the accident...what a terrible burden.

0

Stuart Evans 3 years, 8 months ago

I can't even imagine the horror that faces the drivers of both these cars. Just really terrible.

0

Bob Bowles 3 years, 8 months ago

This whole thing sickens me. I know the grandparents and they are truly very kind and gracious people. I spoke with the grandmother and what she talked about was how much joy these children brought to the world in the very short period that they were on earth. I can't believe those of you who want to criminally charge the mother. You are so hell bent on placing blame that you seem to revel in the fact that the mother should continue to be punished (as if re-living the event isn't enough). My guess is she hasn't recovered enough to even been told about her childrens' demise. So which one of you self-righteous finger pointers volunteers to tell her? There isn't a parent out there who at sometime forgot to do or did something that endangered their child (children). Please pray for this family as they truly deserve it.

0

Patrick Rooney 3 years, 8 months ago

No court could punish her any worse! RIP

0

InspectorJo 3 years, 8 months ago

Well put Justchuck. My heart goes out to everyone involved. Thoughts and prayers to all.

0

friendlyjhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree this is a tragedy for the family that lost the precious girls and the driver who was in the SUV. Nothing said or done now can change the horrible event and casting blame on the mother does nothing except but show your shallow false sense of righteousness and piety. Silent prayer for all involved (including the officials who worked this nightmare) is needed and encouraged.

0

Charlie Sabotage 3 years, 8 months ago

How horrible. As the mother of two beautiful daughters, I cannot imagine the heartache she is going through. I don't think I could walk out of that hospital and ever go back to my home. What does one do? Who do you take care of? Yourself? that kind of guilt and sadness would cripple me by itself. The man driving the SUV must feel awful as well. Such a horrible thing to have happened. terrible timing, circumstances and negligance. You live and you learn but how hard is living after you've learned a lesson like this? It's something none of us can wrap our heads around.
No one has any place to judge anyone. This happened and things went WRONG. But, it is done and the survivors have to go on with this every day. We cannot judge because it is not our situation. Chastising the mother will not make the accident have not happened. Sometimes people don't think ahead and seatbelts would've have been the top priority, but there should be no need to coem down on her now. She has paid, dearly. Thoughts are with this family and the family of the SUV driver. Our hopes are that they can find it in themselves to heal and learn. Also, everyone else to learn from this. Pay attention, seatbelt, drive speed limits and take care of you and yours.

0

Kansass 3 years, 8 months ago

This is such a tragic story all around. If anything comes out of this it should be to remind people to buckle up, even if your just going down the block. I feel sick inside for both drivers.

0

Tom Shewmon 3 years, 8 months ago

This is a terrible tragedy. To address the concerns of insensitive comments and not to get off subject, but some on the forum seem to get away with posting practically anything---others not. My prayers to this family for this loss.

0

WhiteDog 3 years, 8 months ago

I stand by my earlier comments. The weeds at the intersection may have caused the accident, but it is highly likely that their mother's negligence caused these girls' deaths. The one person in this accident who was belted in was treated and released.

I've made plenty of mistakes. None of which was so negligent that it caused any of my children to die. I have little to no compassion for anyone who doesn't secure his or her children in a vehicle just as I have little or no compassion for any other instance of child endangerment. What the mother did was against the law, and she should be charged accordingly.

0

rodentgirl16 3 years, 8 months ago

First, I have to ask, why in the world are comments not disabled or at least moderated for such an emotional story. I'm not trying to censor anyone, but what purpose do comments serve for this story?

redmorgan- I don't think you're being disrespectful. I told my husband the same thing. I think I would rather die than have to live with this. I hope their family and friends can find peace somehow.

I shudder to think about when I was a kid and we lived in the country. We never had car seats and my mom drove us around in an Oldsmobile, just like this mom. We had to go to town to go to the pool and the five of us and however many neighbor kids would pile into the car or S10 and mom would drive us to town. If we had been in a serious accident, it could've been ten dead kids, but that was what people did. Fortunately, she never made a mistake. I just assumed that people knew better now. As they say, "There but for the grace of god I go."

0

netetrader84 3 years, 8 months ago

ladies and gentlemen, in order to thanks for our company ( w w w.n e t e t r a d e r.c o m/ )new and order customers,my boss make a determined that you can get a best discount and a free gift if you shall buy something from our company this month. i hope you may buy something early from our company. so stay tuned!!! i m looking forward to your early place an order. (w w w.n e t e t r a d e r.c o m/ ) Following are some of the famous brands that we can supply: 1. Footwear: all brand name sport shoes, children shoes, EVA clogs, beach slipper, climbing shoes, canvas shoes, Kid shoes, etc. 2. Apparel: all brands Tag T-shirts, shirts, coat, jacket, hoody, Jeans, shorts, Children Clothing, Baby Clothing, underwear, etc. 3. Accessories: All brands Handbags, Wallets, Purse, Sunglasses, Watches, Caps, BIKINI, Hair straightener, etc. We sincerely find serious partners and establish a long-term business relationship. Please email us freely at any time and we are on the service for you, if you are interested in our products, please contact us ! w w w.n e t e t r a d e r.c o m/ finally,i wish you happy every day and lucky forever. 4

0

redmorgan 3 years, 8 months ago

blue73harley- I thought the same thing when I read this story-I wouldn't want to survive the crash if I was this mother. It would almost be the most merciful thing if she were to die and join her children (I hope that doesn't offend anyone...I don't mean it in a disrespectful way). This is just the saddest thing ever, and it really hits home when you are a parent. I can't imagine losing my child...I don't think I could ever eat another bite, sleep, laugh or do anything resembling normal life ever again. God bless this poor family.

0

pace 3 years, 8 months ago

It would be decent to keep your mouths shut. The headline and story is moral enough. I am so sorry for their loss, for their families and communities loss.

0

Nonchambercrat 3 years, 8 months ago

It is my sincere hope that should the mother survive her injuries (And I hope she does!) , she is prosecuted to within an inch of her life for the multiple crimes she committed which led to the deaths of her children.

Call me what you want.

I'm right.

0

mchl 3 years, 8 months ago

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

0

blue73harley 3 years, 8 months ago

"So before you come to the defense of an adult mother, think about those defenseless kids. "

Who is defending her? She made a bad decision, for whatever reason, and lost three precious children. Do you really think additional punishment is necessary? There can be no more severe punishment than waking up every single day knowing that you could have prevented these deaths. And that assumes she could ever find enough peace to sleep at night.

I don't know this woman but I hope that someone still cares enough about her to give her some support to make her want to live another day. Frankly if it was me, I doubt if I would be strong enough to go on.

0

Nonchambercrat 3 years, 8 months ago

" ShePrecedes (anonymous) says…

Oh my heart aches. Regardless of parental history, it is heartbreaking to know that a mother lost three of her children."

The mother in question lost her children because she failed to exercise proper parental responsibility,

End of story.

Sad but true.

Pity the children..

0

TongieMom 3 years, 8 months ago

Unimaginable heartache for the family of these innocent children.

We all know that this was a fatal mistake to not buckle her children...it's unimaginable and beyond comprehension for soooo many people. That's not passing judgement, it's stating fact...it was a fatal mistake. In the face of this horrific tragedy, I hope and pray that people will share this story so that others will come to understand the importance of using proper safety equipment (from car seats to seat belts). As an adult, that's your decision (though it's against the law), but children don't have that option as they rely on the adults in their lives for their basic needs - including vehicle safety. Be vigilant when you get into a car, even if you aren't driving to check to make sure those not old enough to make the decision to buckle up...ARE!

Heartbreaking. Prayers to the family and friends of all the families involved

0

ShePrecedes 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh my heart aches. Regardless of parental history, it is heartbreaking to know that a mother lost three of her children.

0

Nonchambercrat 3 years, 8 months ago

"According to KHP, none of the Spencers was wearing a seat belt."

Award Winning Journalism at its best. Of course it should read, "According to KHP, none of the Spencers Were wearing a seat belt." but you still get the point.

Why, oh, why in the name whatever is holy or not, were these kids not strapped in?

Any parent who does not strap their children into a seatbelt is an unfit parent and should have their children taken from the home.

oh wait

The parent in question did have their children taken from the home.

0

rooster 3 years, 8 months ago

First and foremost my condolences. Not just to the mother but to all extended family.

I must say that while some of you are outraged that people are condemning the mother for her actions I am outraged some of you are defending her.

This isn't 1965, we know the importance of placing a child in a seatbelt. Although a seatbelt is not 100% guaranteed there might have been 1 or more of those innocent children alive today if she had placed them all in a carseat/seatbelt.

So before you come to the defense of an adult mother, think about those defenseless kids.

0

grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

Incredibly sad. My heartfelt condolensces to all involved.

0

Jane 3 years, 8 months ago

Some of the viscious comments are coming from people who stood up for the woman who was taking her baby (11 mo.) to a bar at 11pm on a regular basis...it's the bizzarro world right here in Lawrence.

0

bkreed1960 3 years, 8 months ago

How incredible sad for all involved and then to have so many people post such negative comments on top of that. Our prayers and/or thoughts should be with them, not against them.

0

Amy Heeter 3 years, 8 months ago

How sad, all of her children are gone.

0

LoveThsLife 3 years, 8 months ago

I find it interesting how so many people are "outraged". I understand feeling sad and upset, but seriously, quit casting judgment. She made a horrible mistake and will pay for it for the rest of her life. I am sure no one is beating themselves up more than that mother (if she is even conscious- her condition hasn't been reported). I also feel for the other driver involved, he's very young to have to deal with this.

Whether or not charges are made is really none of our business.

I do hope this serves as a reminder of the importance of wearing seat belts and making sure kids are in car seats...regardless of the distance being driven.

0

purplesage 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you blueharley; the insensitvity of these people who think everything has to be "charged" in unbelievable.

The better question is whether KDOT or JF County Roads needs to trim brush, weeds and trees, especially at high speed intersections like this.

0

greenworld 3 years, 8 months ago

Jefferson County has blind corners all over the place that have area's of concern that need to be cut or cleaned out to see around certain area's. I would sue the county for improper upkeep of their roads. Also any idea about how fast they could have been going? Im guessing over 40mph or even 55mph?

0

Deja Coffin 3 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts go out to the family... I had heard that the youngest daughter was brain dead but hadn't heard anything official until now. Is there an update on the mother? I've been thinking about this accident a lot and am truly sorry for the extreme loss the family and friends are going through. My prayers are with them and with Mr. Hutchins as well.

0

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

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

0

Jane 3 years, 8 months ago

:( What a tragedy. Condolences to the family and friends.

0

edjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Why didn't the mother have them wear seat belts?

0

greenworld 3 years, 8 months ago

Seat belts save lives. This could of totally be prevented by the use of them. OMG this makes me sick to my stomach to even read this. Im really mad as H!!!

0

blue73harley 3 years, 8 months ago

I think the mother of the kids has probably been punished enough. I couldn't imagine anything more horrible than losing children like that.

0

edjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if the Mother could be charged with vehicular homicide.

0

edjayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Sad that it could have been preventable.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.