The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says a driver injured in a one-vehicle crash Tuesday evening on the Farmers Turnpike briefly fell asleep and jerked the wheel before his Jeep slid into a ditch and struck a tree.
The driver, 33-year-old Robert Ryan Sayler of Lawrence, who is a newspaper carrier for the Journal-World, was flown via helicopter ambulance to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. Bob Hallinan, a KU Hospital spokesman, said Sayler was listed in fair condition Wednesday morning.
Sgt. Steve Lewis, a Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman, said Sayler was driving east in a 1999 Jeep Wrangler about 6 p.m. in the 700 section of County Road 438, which runs between Lawrence and Lecompton.
He drifted into the westbound lane near the crest of a hill and, when he saw oncoming traffic, he over-corrected and lost control, Lewis said. Sayler, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle. He told officers he must have fallen asleep while driving, Lewis said.