Archive for Saturday, August 6, 2011

At least one killed in head-on crash on K-10 in Lenexa on Saturday morning

August 6, 2011, 7:38 a.m. Updated August 7, 2011, 12:27 a.m.


A head-on collision on K-10 in Lenexa killed at least one person early Saturday morning, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

About 1:45 a.m., a vehicle was driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes when the vehicle struck another vehicle traveling westbound. The accident occurred on K-10, less than a mile west of Interstate 435.

No other information about the accident has been released as of late Saturday evening. A spokesperson for the KHP said they are awaiting confirmation of family notification.

According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, from 2000 to 2010, 19 people have been killed in traffic accidents on K-10 between Lawrence and Interstate 435.

Check back with for updates.

K-10, just west of I-435


Sunny Parker 6 years ago

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

devobrun 6 years ago

Nice article, Shaun. Looking to generate lots of comments to pad your comment counter? Do additional comments generate more advertising revenue? I saw nothing in your article suggesting that the wrong-way driver got to the other roadway by crossing the median. I don't see the linkage between your article about the wrong-way driver early this morning and the crossover crashes from this spring. Blatant revenue generation or padding of the resume?

Or just thoughtless gossip? Whatever the motivation, your linking of the events is not good reportage. Relevant information is contained in the location, time, and outcome of the car crash. Be clear, concise and don't engage in editorials in a news report. Linking of this event with the spring-time cross-over crashes is an editorial comment.

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

Info. has been updated. I agree, mine was an incorrect assumption. But I think going as far to say I was editorializing is a stretch. Fatality accidents, particularly those that occur on K-10, are of high interest to the community. I was simply trying to put accident in context, but it was based on assumption, which was incorrect.


devobrun 6 years ago

I congratulate you for your attention to comments. I assert that context is often used to editorialize. There is a story out of Afghanistan today regarding the death of many U.S. special forces. Every article I've read uses similar contextual references to the number of air crashes, the reasons, relationship of the crash location to Taliban and the number of civilians killed when special forces ops engage the enemy.

News reports that contextualize promote a world view. They steer opinion by keeping a notion alive. In the case of the crash on K-10 last night, the notion that K-10 doesn't have guard rails is serving only to keep the notion of guard rails alive.

Just as all energy stories have an environmental context. And all weather stories have a global warming angle. And stories about KU, and black people, and Mexicans, and lawyers come with boiler plate. Statements about each that fit into the world view. On this site, just look at the stories that come via the side sites, Wellcommons, KU, SunflowerHorizons. These are defined contexts. You'll not likely find a positive story about frakking of natural gas in SunflowerHorizons.

Public relations is all about defining context. Generating the context and getting reporters to sing the song written for them is what p.r. is all about. Say something enough times and people come to expect it in their stories. Therefore I assert, context is often editorial.

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Sheesh, give it a rest. The guy said he made a mistake and corrected it. Leave it at that.

We're all human and make mistakes, but not all of us own up to our mistakes or get the opportunity to correct them. He did both and for that he deserves respect, not a long winded editorial of your own.

cj123 6 years ago

+1 Thank you for saying that!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Heaven forbid that anyone would express an opinion with which you disagree. Or even hint at one.

kantubek 6 years ago

LJW, why insert the debate about crossover cables? There is no indication that any crossover took place, rather it seems someone entered the roadway going the wrong direction. This isn't the place for that debate, if you want to get your forum going then you should post it elsewhere.

kantubek 6 years ago

Thank you for updating the article, Shaun.

kantubek 6 years ago

Now I'm beginning to feel a lot like tange.

formerfarmer 6 years ago

Little early to presume crossover. Sounds like they were driving in the wrong lane.

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

After considering your comments, I have updated the story. Nothing in crash logs indicates a median was crossed, and could certainly be a wrong way driver that did not cross median.


GardenMomma 6 years ago

Thanks. You're quicker than I can type, proof, and post. Sorry.

GardenMomma 6 years ago

Do you know how the person ended up going eastbound in the westbound lanes? Did, in fact, a median crossover occur? Or did the driver simply enter K10 by going the wrong way? Please, don't stir the pot unless you have facts to back it up.

I hope when you have more information, you will update the story appropriately.

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

What we know is that a vehicle was going the wrong way on K-10, causing the accident. What we do not know is how the vehicle got to be going the wrong way. Information posted, since updated, implied it was a median crossover, which we do not know at this point. It was an error on my end.


Sigmund 6 years ago

shaunepec (Shaun Hittle) replies… "But I think going as far to say I was editorializing is a stretch. Fatality accidents, particularly those that occur on K-10, are of high interest to the community."

Really Shaun? Isn't drunk driving also of high interest to the community? Why not mention how many early morning K-10 accidents are the result of DUI? One relatively recent accident involved a head on with two DUI drivers. Why not imply both drivers were DUI while you are at it.

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

As mentioned, and corrected in story, to imply the accident was a crossover was not correct. So, under that logic, to imply drunk driving was a factor, without further info., would also be incorrect.

jkrakasophia 6 years ago

Do any of you know the make of the vehicles involved? My son & wife were to return home this morning from kc to Parsons and no one has heard from them. We are worried. Thanks

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

Nothing on make of the vehicles. The KHP report is very basic at this point. We'll have an update ASAP.

I'd recommend you try calling KHP as well. This number will get you there: (913) 782-8100

Jean Robart 6 years ago

I pray your family waws not involved jk

jkrakasophia 6 years ago

Heard from them! The concert was late so they decided to stay over night. Thank you for your concern. Mothers always worry about their children no matter how old they are.

kusp8 6 years ago

I also pray your relatives weren't involved as well JK. Keep us updated?

domino 6 years ago

Wow - with all the comments on here, Mr. Hittle should be afraid for his job. Apparently there a lot of people out there ready to jump into his position! I would agree that there are times (this one included) that articles aren't written as well as they should be, however, I think it stems from the public's wanting to know everything right now! Back in the day, this article wouldn't have probably made it into todays paper - more likely tomorrow's - and by that time there would have been time to gather more information, check and re-check facts, etc. I appreciate the updating/correcting that was done as quickly as possible and hope we all can learn from this - Mr. Hittle by being a little more thoughtful as to how he writes his articles and the posters by cutting someone a little slack. I know - I'm probably going to get blasted with the "he's supposed to be a professional" group, but I'll guarantee you that I have made less than stellar decisions at times in my career and I'll bet most others have too!!

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

Well said Domino. I make mistakes, and when they're brought to my attention, the best I can do is admit them and correct them.

WHY 6 years ago

Pitchforks and Torches. Someone made a mistake in a newspaper that has a mistake in it every day. Lets take it out on Shaun personally rather than the paper that devotes insufficient resources to cover stories in a format that is dying.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

Shaun, I will never forget one mistake you made. It was "There is", and not "There's". Some things you just flat out never forget.

I gave you a source to check that, but then, I suppose I slurred my pronunciation when I described it verbally.

Everything else in the article was very good.

kusp8 6 years ago

I wouldn't worry about it Shaun, you made a mistake, which we all do. However, you manned up to it, which is a rarity today. So good job for acknowledging the mistake and correcting it. Now relax, if you're not working, and crack open a beer and have a good rest of your weekend.

John Hamm 6 years ago

"Back in the day" they would've run a "Special Edition" and the corner newsboys would've been chanting "Head on collision on K-10 kills another."

jkrakasophia 6 years ago

Thanks. Almost afraid to make the call. They went to kc to hear a marc broussard concert to spend the evening of their 3rd Anniversary.They are 32 & 26

Sigmund 6 years ago

shaunepec (Shaun Hittle) replies… "Well said Domino. I make mistakes, and when they're brought to my attention, the best I can do is admit them and correct them."

Fair point. My comment is showing my bias. I am much more concern with the carnage drunk drivers regularly inflict upon our community than building a multi-million barrier in the median of K-10 which seems to get greater attention from the LJWorld.

Jonathan Kealing 6 years ago

Shaun's actually in the middle of a lengthy report on drunk driving in Douglas County and the impact of the recent changes in the laws on them. It's taken a while to put together, because they're hard to chase down, turns out.

Shaun Hittle 6 years ago

Yah, I understand the concerns about the DUIs. As JK said, we'll have a big feature next weekend on DUIs in Kansas, the new law, and whether it will make roads safer from drunk drivers. We'll highlight some local DD cases of people who've had a staggering number of DUIs, but are still on the road.

Getaroom 6 years ago

No matter how the driver ended going the wrong way - the number of deaths is staggering and sad as always. It was responsible of Shaun to correct the article and to reflect what is known and what is not known. As usual when the official law enforcement report is done all the details will be released and the voyeurs can feast and comment to hearts content. A median guard of some kind would help to prevent median crossover accidents(not accidents from happening) and so would responsible driving and not driving the wrong way no matter the reason. Ultimately tax dollars are spent when an accident happens on public roads. Just like every time one of us needs to go to the emergency room and does not have insurance, someone is paying for it and ultimately it is all of us but maybe not in tax dollars. So, how and when and with which pile of tax money do you, the voters, want used(or not used) to deal with the median crossovers on K-10? Let a Brownback decide for you? He's doing a good job with the "commons" money - right? So do you pick SRS offices, median protection on K-10, the energy audit program, programs for the underserved, the arts...? If you don't like what you see, change it. Death on the highways is a sad truth for those of us left behind and yet death and injury will continue to occur because accidents do happen and especially on highly traveled roads at high speeds. Protecting ourselves from our selves - is emotional and expensive business. Some will even question the value of using public funds for such protections because it is "every man for himself". However no matter which point of view one takes at least two questions can be asked: by whom and how should that protection be paid? Want to cut out your Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance and etc. to pay for the "entitlement" Anti Death Median Crossover Program? Want to pay more road and law enforcement taxes, higher prices for emergency responder services? Easy to be a critic of a LJW journalists on a blog isn't it and especially compared to decisions about how to pay for a lifetime of living in the world together, in community. So, is it going to be "all for one and one for all" or ......? Got to pay for it one way or the other. Who are the "deciders" in such matters? Answer that question for yourself and then maybe the way will become clearer and before it is too late to make an difference.

notorious_agenda 6 years ago

20 car accident deaths in 10 years with 20,000 + cars a day travelling is not staggering by any definition of the word.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

That claim is very arbitrary. If any airline were that dangerous the FAA would shut it down very quickly. That, or the lawsuits would.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

Car accident fatalities in 2003: 42,643 people killed.

Jet airline fatalities in 2003: 0 people killed.

Propeller airline fatalities in 2003: 23 people killed.

7texdude 6 years ago

I know they cannot cover every inch of K10, but were there any police or sheriff cars on that highway at all? At 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, that is DUI time from KC to Lawrence. Why is that not more patrolled late at night?

Please don't think I'm pointing fingers at the police, but what are the patrol times/areas for K10 on the weekends? Shaun, that is a story. That is an area that deserves more attention. At the minimum, they could pay for their time by writing tickets for speeders, yes? That would also slow down the traffic and get some of the drunk drivers off the road..

notorious_agenda 6 years ago

When was the last time you were driving on K-10 at that time? I see at least 3 KHP officers with people pulled over every single day at approximately that time. Weeks ago they were doing a massive effort to slow everyone down day and night. with multiple police cars lined up on the on ramps laying in wait.

Kufan57 6 years ago

My prayers go out to the family who lost a loved one in this accident... Now for the posters who are more worried about how the article was written....get a life!

Phog67 6 years ago

I totally agree!! So sorry for the families that will have to deal with the sadness of losing loved ones. Shaun, everyone makes mistakes and that mistake in your article was a small one and easily corrected, especially when you can update your story instantly on the website.

Sigmund 6 years ago

Kufan57 (anonymous) says… "My prayers go out to the family who lost a loved one in this accident... Now for the posters who are more worried about how the article was written....get a life!"

For the posters who are worried about the posters who are worried about accurate unbiased news coverage, get a life!

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Considering the number of accidents on K-10 it seems it would be more fiscally prudent to hire more Highway Patrol than to widen the highway which would allow more speeding. It would take decades to eat up $200-$300 million by way of extra Patrol units.

"The K-10 Traffic Control Troopers" could get on tailgaters,reckless drivers and those who enter the highway off the ramps as if they have the right of way. K-10 traffic fines would certainly help pay the salaries of "The K-10 Traffic Control Troopers". Our tax dollars hard at work keeping food on the table and highways a bit safer.

Steve Jacob 6 years ago

Guessing on Renner Rd, going on the east bound ramp toward 435, took the K-10 off ramp instead (that right next to it) and went the wrong way. From that location, it's the most logical way it happened.

If so, how can you stop that? Very sorry.

sad_lawrencian 6 years ago

"Collission"? Better check your spelling...

Jean Robart 6 years ago

I'd be interested to know if it was the wrong way driver who was killed.

Mrr 6 years ago

The driver going the wrong way was the one killed. I know the driver of the white truck. He is in ICU last I heard.

Jean Robart 6 years ago

thank you Mrr. I hope your friend comes out okay.

Brock Masters 6 years ago

Off-topic, but still relevant. I think we, the online community, are very fortunate to have the opportunity to read articles, comment on them and to be able to interact with those that write and edit the stories - all for free.

Cut the reporter some slack - he made a mistake but owned up to it and corrected. In my world that takes guts and deserves respect and he faced his critics not once but multiple times - again earning my respect.

Not all online papers make their staff accessible or open to comments. Again, I think we're lucky to have that opportunity.

ljb 6 years ago

Sadly, I had a front row view of this accident last night. Had I been driving just a little faster or started my drive home just 30 seconds sooner it could very well have been me in one of those cars. There was a white truck in flames, lots of smoke, and people running everywhere...very sad to see EMT's working less than 30 feet from my car.

devobrun 6 years ago

Agreed fred_mertz. I think that the reporter was adding context at the behest of his editor, his J-school training and general practice of reporting. He swerved a little far and he has notably, and admirably, acknowledged and fixed the problem.

But this should bring up the concept of reportage and the inclusion of context which adds meaning to a story, at the risk of creating reality. Busses don't crash, they plunge (even when they actually just crash). Cars don't crash on K-10, they cross over the median.
Virtually every story in this paper and others has the problem of "adding context". Yeah I know, it sells papers.

adtgolf 6 years ago

What no one has mentioned in any media outlet today is that there was a rollover last night (August 5th) between Eudora and DeSoto at 9:23 last night. A car traveling eastbound swerved and was literally bouncing forward and towards the westbound traffic, the direction I was traveling. Had it not come to rest, I was about to have to make a split second decision about how to avoid it. I called it in and within two minutes police were at the scene. It was awful.

Not sure what caused this particular wreck, but I travel K10 every day for work and its like a NASCAR at times. If you're not rubbing, apparently, you're not (racing) getting to work on time.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

Car accidents are usually not reported in major media unless there is a fatality. Because if they were, that would be almost all of the news.

Sigmund 6 years ago

jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) replies… "Shaun's actually in the middle of a lengthy report on drunk driving in Douglas County and the impact of the recent changes in the laws on them. It's taken a while to put together, because they're hard to chase down, turns out."

shaunepec (Shaun Hittle) replies… "Yah, I understand the concerns about the DUIs. As JK said, we'll have a big feature next weekend on DUIs in Kansas, the new law, and whether it will make roads safer from drunk drivers. We'll highlight some local DD cases of people who've had a staggering number of DUIs, but are still on the road."

Good to hear, I look forward to the story. Might I suggest staying away from speculating on whether or not the new law will make roads safer in the future? It seems to me the new statutes are meant more to close certain "loopholes" in the current law that limited prosecution, and to increased punishment for those convicted. So leave the promises to politicians; prediction is difficult, especially of the future.

Cody 6 years ago

I came up on this accident at around 3:30 this morning. I have never seen so many law enforcement cars at an accident. I seriously doubt this was a cross over as it is the wide area before you get to I-435. K-10 was closed for a few hours this morning. The one car you could not tell what it even was. Looks like a pick up truck going the wrong way. Very sad. Hope there was just the one deseased but I don't see how anyone in the one vehicle could have survived.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

That might seem strange, but car wrecks are often not reported in the news because they are so common.

The tragic truth is: Car Accidents Are The American Way To Die.

Cody 6 years ago

There was none on the KC TV stations this morning either but was on the LJW. They had three off ramps closed this morning (north/south ramps going to K-10 and the one coming from the east). They had some of the construction trucks working in the area helping block the off ramps.

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