Archive for Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friends remember Lawrence woman who died in accident Thursday on Clinton Parkway

Early morning wreck involved 2 vehicles on Clinton Parkway

An accident at the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Inverness Drive left one person dead and another injured Thursday morning.

October 14, 2010, 2:59 a.m. Updated October 14, 2010, 5:17 p.m.

A 19-year-old Lawrence woman, who was a recent Lawrence High School graduate, died in a two-vehicle crash early Thursday morning in southwest Lawrence.

Mary Grace Paez

Mary Grace Paez

Lawrence police said it would likely take several days or longer to determine if speed or alcohol, or both, contributed to the accident.

“We’re not saying whose fault the accident is at this point,” said Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman. “Of course we have to go through everything and see exactly what led to the circumstances that caused this tragic accident. That’s exactly what it is.”

Lawrence police did say Mary Paez, a 2010 LHS graduate, died in the accident at 1:30 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Inverness Drive.

Police said Paez drove a Nissan Sentra that appeared to be headed south on Inverness Drive and entered the intersection on a flashing red light. A 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven west on Clinton Parkway by 22-year-old Sean Walker of Overland Park struck the driver’s side of the Sentra.

Sarna said officers believed the Jeep went into the intersection on a flashing yellow light. He also said they believed Paez had made a complete stop at the flashing red light before entering the intersection.

Walker was treated at the scene for a head injury, but medics did not take him to the hospital. Both vehicles sustained substantial damage.

Paez’s friends on Thursday said they were shocked to hear the news.

“She was always happy. She was never really upset about anything, and she was really beautiful and smart and strong,” said Jorica Rapada, who graduated at LHS with Paez. “When I had problems she would always be there and tell me the right things.”

Rapada said she and Paez both had Filipino heritage and that their families were close.

Catherine Morel, a 2010 Free State High School graduate, was friends with Paez when they attended Hillcrest Elementary School. They would often still send text messages to each other.

“She was always really caring. I’ve never seen her be mean to anyone, and I know everyone’s going to miss her a lot,” Morel said. “She was such a good person.”

Rapada said Paez had worked at Arby’s restaurant while in high school, had taken time off after she graduated and was likely looking for a job.

Sarna said police had not issued any citations in connection with the accident on Thursday. The coroner’s office was also assisting with the investigation. He said because it was a fatality accident officers also drew Walker’s blood for testing.

Police encouraged anyone with information about the fatality accident to call police at 832-7650 or Douglas County Crime Stoppers at (785) 843-TIPS.

Joe Preiner contributed to this story.


Dirtman24 7 years ago

All I can say as seeing it, my prayers go out to the family of the person in the car that got T-boned. Listening to my scanner was one thing but seeing the accident in person I was OMG its bad real bad. My heart goes out to the family and your in my prayers...

Maddy Griffin 7 years ago

Prayers for the family of both. My sincere condolences.

Tammy Copp-Barta 7 years ago

THANK YOU LJW!!! Just saw your tag about approving comments on sensitive stories .. I thrilled to see this as I've seen horrible comments on stories like these in the past from people not thinking before they type.

onehotmomma 7 years ago

so very, very sad. To many tragic events this week. All involved are in my thoughts.

Kontum1972 7 years ago

this morning around 6 am i was headed east on 6th street and there was traffic as i arrived at 6th and Iowa (the t-bone) a person on a bicycle was in the right lane and i was in the left lane this person ran the red light and was almost hit by a vehicle making a left turn south on Iowa the on coming driver had to swerve out of the bikes way to avoid hitting him....the on coming vehicle had his turn signal on...the bike rider was in the street not to the right or on the sidewalk that is there....riding a bicycle in the traffic lanes on Iowa is not a very good do we combat poor judgement...?

nobody1793 7 years ago

FYI as of 5 minutes ago, the road is blocked from Crossgate out to Wakarusa, not Inverness

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

Is that stop light blinking that late at night, or is it "normal"? Also, you never hear of much trouble at that light. I know it's a steep hill southbound on Inverness onto Clinton Parkway.

sickofdummies 7 years ago

That stoplight does turn to blinking abt 10pm until about 7am. It has been that way for years.

Steve Jacob 7 years ago

About what I thought, if you go down that hill, you really can't see Clinton Parkway on your left until you only a few feet from the intersection. Very sad and my heart goes out to the family.

Editorator 7 years ago

So very sorry to see this. My condolences to all involved.

I wondered if the news production team ever blanks out license plates in cases where the parties involved have not been identified?
I would definitely understand that as a reason to moderate comments.

whats_going_on 7 years ago

That makes me sick to my stomach. I know a lot of people that live over near that way, including relatives. I'm so sorry to the people, families, and friends involved.

Nanna1 7 years ago

God Bless those that are finding out the news of their loved ones. Please comfort them and help them through this time of pain. Young people please be careful, pay attention, and remember you are not invensible. There has been too many tragic accidents as of late and I just pray for those involved. So many innocent bystanders that everyone needs to remember to drive defensively, you never know what that other person may be thinking about instead of driving. So much going on in the world we need to all remember we are all important to someone.

jhawks1234 7 years ago

I feel just awful about this. My thoughts and prayers are with the families that were involved. I saw the aftermath from it last night and it was just so sad.

jayhawklawrence 7 years ago

I would agree that there has been a reckless attitude among drivers on Clinton Pkwy this year. Especially right around sunset.

I wish residents living in this area would take a moment to reflect on how to create a safer mentality while driving. I don't think squealing around a corner is going to get you there any faster and I don't know why you have to be in such a big hurry that you cut in front of pedestrians and bikes without giving the right of way.

It is just a change in attitude. A simple thing.

Crystal Patterson 7 years ago

I see people run red flashing lights all the time around downtown, especially at 6th and Mass...I can't count how many times I have been heading east on 6th through the flashing yellow on Mass when someone will turn left right in front of me on a red flashing light without slow down at all.

Belinda Rehmer 7 years ago

Re: "Because of the sensitive nature of this story, 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" Where's the LIKE button?

My heart goes out to all involved. So very sad.

happy_go_lucky 7 years ago

I live behind Southwest had the bedroom window open last night and could hear the accident. It was very very loud, even from a good distance off all the way behind Raintree. I drove to see the accident at ~5-10 minutes after the accident, it was very bad with many police officers on scene. When I drove by the abulance was just getting to the scene. I drove by again at ~11 and saw the street closed off and the abulance still there with the fire truck with the large flood light turned on. At that point I realized someone died.

I will say that prior to hearing the car crash I did not hear any breaks. I distincely heard the cars collide and then a long screech after the fact.

Prayers go out to the families, because no one comes out well from this kind of situation.

jafs 7 years ago

These stories are always tragic.

Perhaps there's a need for some serious education about what flashing red and yellow lights mean? My understanding is that a flashing red light is a stop sign, and a flashing yellow means proceed with caution.

As well as an ongoing need to try to help persuade people not to drink and drive

Deb Engstrom 7 years ago

My son had an accident very similar to this, although not as serious at 23 and Ousdahl when he was 18. He stopped at the flashing red light, but assumed that the traffic on 23rd also had flashing red and would stop, too -- as in a 4-way stop situation. Of course, they didn't stop and our car was totaled. I think these flashing lights create confusion and a dangerous situation.

May Soo 7 years ago

Those flashing yellow lights always make me nervous.

Paul Williams 7 years ago

Deb, Thanks for sharing that information. I'll be talking with my drivers today. I've always have looked up to check the color of the oncoming traffic light. For a new or young driver, I can totally see this happening.

eudoramomx5 7 years ago

My heart broke when I heard this news yesterday. I did not know this young lady, but I have a daughter that is 17 and can not even begin to imagine the grief this family is feeling right now. It is tragic that her life was cut short without knowing what she would have offered this world. Today I will mourn this young person and think of the what might have beens. Paez family you are in my thoughts and heart!

Kontum1972 7 years ago

so what happens to the person who is found at fault....the insurance company pays the bill and the driver obtains another vehicle..and life goes on...?

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years ago

Unfortunately that's how the world works. I think that's why they call them accidents. No one intends to harm anyone or themselves. I really doubt either driver got in the car thinking, "I'm gonna go hurt someone." From the description in the article it doesn't sound like it was probably anyone's fault. I think Deb is probably pretty close to guessing the scenario. My prayers are with both families, can't imagine the pain and grief of losing a child and hope I never have to.

ichilders 7 years ago

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

Kontum1972 7 years ago

i commute alot daily to my workstation which is out of town and i have lived in Lawrence for over 20 years, and in that time i have seen the driving habits become steadliy worse, i live on the west end of town and stoplights and stop signs mean nothing.....i have seen vehicles entering pedistrians crosswalks with people in them and the drivers in the vehicles smacking their steering wheels and their mouths moving cussin out the pedistrians.....folks this is the problem with the traffic community in Lawrence,,,and more people are going to die! We have seen the enemy..and the enemy is us....!

I pray for this young ladies soul ..and for her parents.....there is an open sore in their hearts now....

savage101 7 years ago

R.I.P Mary grace, you will always be loved... i remeber the first time i met you, and always will remember. one day we will hopefully see each other one more time

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