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Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

Authorities say driver in I-70 crash in Douglas County was driving faster than 80 mph

One person suffered serious injuries after a rollover accident on the Kansas Turnpike near Lecompton on Thursday. It was the first of three serious accidents in Douglas County on Thursday.

August 26, 2011, 12:41 p.m. Updated August 26, 2011, 2:13 p.m.

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A Ford Mustang is pulled from a ditch along the Kansas Turnpike on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Emergency crews were investigating an accident that involved two cars in the eastbound lane. Traffic was stopped just west of East 600 Road to allow a LifeStar helicopter to land on the road.

A Ford Mustang is pulled from a ditch along the Kansas Turnpike on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Emergency crews were investigating an accident that involved two cars in the eastbound lane. Traffic was stopped just west of East 600 Road to allow a LifeStar helicopter to land on the road.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Fort Riley man is expected to be ticketed for speeding for his involvement in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on the Kansas Turnpike west of Lecompton.

Trooper Greg Peters said Friday that investigators believe Eugene Riddick II, 29, was driving at a speed much faster than 80 mph on Interstate 70 just before he lost control of his 2010 Ford Mustang and struck the side of another car that a Naples, Fla., couple were traveling in.

The crash occurred just after 3 p.m. Thursday in the turnpike’s eastbound lanes, and it was the first of three serious crashes in Douglas County that all occurred within one hour of each other. The two other crashes happened on U.S. Highway 24-40 near the Leavenworth County line and on Kansas Highway 10 just west of Eudora. The KHP closed both directions of K-10 for six hours Thursday, causing major traffic issues into the evening.

In the I-70 crash, Peters said a witness who was driving 80 mph alleged that Riddick passed him easily just before the crash.

Riddick was treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Peters said Robert Berkoski, 67, and Joyce Berkoski, 62, who were traveling in the vehicle Riddick struck, were both taken Thursday to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where they were in stable condition and expected to recover.

Peters said troopers also believed the treads on Riddick’s tires were worn, which also caused him to lose control of his Ford Mustang. The trooper said he expected to write Riddick a ticket for driving too fast for conditions and improper tires.

In the other two serious crashes:

l The KHP said Donald Burnett, 63, of Manhattan, was taken to KU Hospital after he was injured in a motorcycle crash on southbound U.S. 24-40. Burnett, while headed south, applied brakes suddenly to his 2010 Yamaha motorcycle and laid the motorcycle down on its side to avoid a car in front of him that had stopped suddenly. Burnett and a passenger Doreen Burnett, 65, were thrown from the vehicle.

Neither person wore a helmet, according to the KHP. Doreen Burnett was treated and released from LMH, a hospital spokeswoman said. Information about Donald Burnett’s condition was not available Friday.

l Richard A. Vandruff, 44, of Tonganoxie, was also taken to KU Hospital in the K-10 accident Thursday afternoon when a tire blew on the cement truck he was driving westbound, according to the KHP. Vandruff lost control of the truck, swerved onto the north shoulder and then veered across the lanes and onto the median before the truck rolled onto its side.

Master Trooper Aaron Klaassen said at 2 p.m. Friday that Vandruff was in stable condition at KU Hospital.

Klaassen said the truck nearly ended up in K-10’s eastbound lanes before it tipped over in the median.

“It could have been really bad, but luckily it wasn’t,” Klaassen said in reference to a possible head-on collision involving the truck.

Comments

Curtis Lange 2 years, 7 months ago

!!!! !!! !!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mommy_n_me 2 years, 7 months ago

ALSO, To the EDITOR!!!!!!

I would like to see a story done about all the motorcycle accidents that have happened this past week, to month!!!!! Motorcycles are everywhere in this whether and I personally know of 3 accidents involving motorcycles that my husband worked!! Maybe alittle piece on motorcycle awareness!!!!

I think now would be a GREAT time with all the college kids coming in from other areas to REMIND them, they are not the only ones on the road.... and I'm not only talking reminding college kids either but grown people who are just inpatient or to into whats going on INSIDE THEIR CARS to pay attention!!!! Maybe if people see the numbers and take a good look at it, They might start looking twice and save a life!!!

BEWARE, Motorcycles are EVERYWHERE!!

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mommy_n_me 2 years, 7 months ago

I just want to say, UNLESS U ARE THERE, You have NO CLUE what the surcumstances were to this man braking!!! And just becuz the JLWORLD words it one way, doesnt mean that is how it happened, The car in front of this motorcycle braked suddenly, the motorcyle tried to stop in time, but couldnt with the TRAILER on the back that he was towing, then the TRAILER FLIPPED causing this man to lose control of the bike/situation!!! Motorcyclist are not always the ones at fault!! People in cars need to be more cautious and aware of their surroundings and WATCH for the motorcycles!!!

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 7 months ago

Medical care, if needed, should be denied to those who violate the law during an incident.

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JerryStubbs 2 years, 7 months ago

I've started putting the GPS on __MPH display ( you just press where it shows your speed down in the corner) It's supposed to turn red when you go over the speed limit, but I don't know if that works.

I used to drive a car that showed 75 but was really only going 69, I didn't have a GPS then, so I didn't know it.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 7 months ago

Where I came from, there is a serious problem with curves in the highway.

Many drivers have proceeded onward as though it did not, and that has been the cause of many fatalities.

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Kris_H 2 years, 7 months ago

I see maniac drivers everywhere I go, even on the city streets in Topeka, and in small towns. In small towns it's usually slow maniacs, but they are still maniacs.

I've learned to expect the dumbest possible moves from other drivers, then I'm ready for them when they fail to disappoint me.

I admit I missed the one last year who ran a stop sign onto 6th Street in Topeka at about 45 mph and t-boned my friend's car and spun us just like a pit maneuver. That one, I did not see coming, literally.

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Hoots 2 years, 7 months ago

When are they going to allow us to remove our own post here. I've posted a couple times today and it has double or triple posted when I hit comment once. It would be nice to be able to remove those.

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gsxr600 2 years, 7 months ago

Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 7 months ago

"In the I-70 crash, Peters said a witness who was driving 80 mph alleged that Riddick passed him easily just before the crash"

So lets raise the speed limit to 100 mph so all these idiots who think a little more speed will somehow save them some time will eliminate themselves and the public nuisance they pose to the rest of the driving public.

Speed limits are only useful to those who obey the law, the unlawful will do as they please no matter the hazards they create.

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devobrun 2 years, 7 months ago

"Peters said troopers also believed the treads on Riddick’s tires were worn, which also caused him to lose control of his Ford Mustang. The trooper said he expected to write Riddick a ticket for driving too fast for conditions and improper tires."

A 2010 Ford Mustang. A year old car with worn out tires should tell you somehin' about the driving habits of young Mr. Riddick.

Yikes.

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zzgoeb 2 years, 7 months ago

Good ol' Governor Sam in his infinite wisdom raised the limit to 75 to get more votes. Now we will ALL pay for the carnage with EMS and other costs. And amazingly, the dummies on this board admit to driving 80 while complaining about the "speeders"!! Really? Hey, let's all be responsible and drive 65 and save gas and lives. Oh, wait, this is America, the land of the free and home of the morons?!

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evilpenguin 2 years, 7 months ago

75 means 75. Why don't the troopers stop everyone who goes over that? I'm pretty sure that would send a clear message....

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nut_case 2 years, 7 months ago

"You are exactly right, CloveK. If KDOT felt that 75 is safe for the road, they should have lowered the limit to 65--then the average speed would have ended up closer to 75. "

Why is it necessary to play a bargaining game with the speed limit? "...well, we want you to go 70, so we'll make the limit 60, then we only take your money up to 70, but you're a criminal at 80...'

You're basically saying they should set the limit low enough that everyone is a criminal, then the police get to pick and choose which ones they single out based on what ever whim they have that day.

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buckjennings 2 years, 7 months ago

When are we going to get the SLT built! When are we going to install cable barriers!

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Curtis Lange 2 years, 7 months ago

I still chuckle when I see this headline. "Oh no! Noooot 80+ mph. How dare he?"

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Hoots 2 years, 7 months ago

I've spent a good amount of time on a road racing course. I've spent weeks driving the Autobahn at speeds well north of 100 mph and never saw a single wreck nor had one. Almost every time I come back I see one between the airport and home. What the H*ll is wrong with Americans? Oh yeah, I remember. You barely need a pulse to get a license. Germans are allowed to drive much faster yet they have lower crash and fatality rates. Speed doesn't kill but our horrific lack of training in this country does. Most people don't even understand how to use ABS properly. Most Americans driving skills are a complete joke.

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Pywacket 2 years, 7 months ago

You are exactly right, CloveK. If KDOT felt that 75 is safe for the road, they should have LOWERED the limit to 65--then the average speed would have ended up closer to 75.

Obviously, people are going to do the same idiotic things (weaving, cutting others off, parking in the passing lane, texting, etc), no matter what speed they are going, but impact force increases dramatically with higher speeds. Simple physics. There are going to be more fatalities and injuries are going to be worse at the 85-90+ that idiots like Riddick will be doing.

Oh--and too, too bad that the couple he hit were injured worse than he was. Glad no one was killed, but maybe if he had received the worse injuries, it would have given him more time to think about how worth it that extra speed was.

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CloveK 2 years, 7 months ago

Yup. with the 75 mph speed limit, a lot of people will drive 80-85. Especially considering that in Kansas, anything under 10 mph over is only a non-moving violation and won't effect your insurance.

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Ricky_Vaughn 2 years, 7 months ago

They raised the speed limit to 75 mph. That means everyone is driving at least 5-10 over, if not more. People driving 80 mph on I-70 these days are the slow drivers...

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 7 months ago

People on the turnpike drive like stupid maniacs. I have seen many times 100 mph or more and I am doing 80. There are never enough cops out.

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greenme 2 years, 7 months ago

I cannot express how relieved I am to see that there were no fatalities with all that happened yesterday. What a crazy day.

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 7 months ago

Of course neither of these cycle geniuses mention "why did the car stop suddenly?" in their assessment of the rider's capability.

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gccs14r 2 years, 7 months ago

"...applied brakes suddenly to his 2010 Yamaha Motorcycle and laid the motorcycle down on its side to avoid a car in front of him..."

More likely that he panicked and stabbed the back brake, locking it up, and that caused the lowside. It's better to remain upright under max braking (and please use the front brake, because that's where most of your stopping power is) to dump as much speed as possible, and then maneuver around the obstruction if you're not going to stop in time.

The front brake isn't a DOT conspiracy to kill motorcyclists. I don't know where people get that idea, or the idea that laying the bike down is the best way to stop.

Kansas should really step up the training and testing requirements to get a motorcycle license. If you can fog a mirror you can pass the current skills test.

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