Archive for Saturday, August 27, 2011

One person dead in early morning car accident in Riverfront Park in North Lawrence

The Lawrence Police department was called to Riverfront Park, in North Lawrence, about 6 a.m. on Saturday Aug. 27, 2011 to investigate a one-vehicle accident. One person was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.

August 27, 2011, 8:03 a.m. Updated August 27, 2011, 2:50 p.m.


One-vehicle fatality accident at Riverfront Park

LJWorld reporter Shaun Hittle talks about a one-vehicle fatality accident at Riverfront Park that was discovered around 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Enlarge video

Lawrence police officers investigate a fatality accident Saturday at Riverfront Park. Police say one person died when a Jeep overturned early Saturday near the park entrance.

Lawrence police officers investigate a fatality accident Saturday at Riverfront Park. Police say one person died when a Jeep overturned early Saturday near the park entrance.

One person died after they were thrown out of a vehicle they were driving in Riverfront Park early Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.

One person died after they were thrown out of a vehicle they were driving in Riverfront Park early Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.

Riverfront Park



One person is dead after a vehicle overturned near the entrance to Riverfront Park in North Lawrence, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Mike Monroe.

Early Saturday morning, at the entrance to Riverfront Park at North 1800 Road, police were investigating the one-vehicle incident that was called in by a passerby about 6 a.m. The vehicle, a yellow Jeep Wrangler, could be seen several hundred yards past the levee between the fork in the road, just past the railroad tracks. The body was several feet outside of the Jeep, and the vehicle was heavily damaged.

Tire marks indicated that the vehicle drove between the two lanes of gravel road, going over the levee and slightly past some large rocks dotting the trail of the park.

Monroe said that it’s unclear what time the accident occurred, but placed the time frame between midnight and 6 a.m., when it was called in. An accident reconstruction team was on scene trying to determine the dynamics of the incident, Monroe said.

As of 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Lawrence Police Sgt. Ted Bordman said the investigation was ongoing, and he was not able to release any other information about the accident or the gender or age of the deceased.

Bordman said police would probably issue a news release with more details, but he did not say when that would be available.


Deja Coffin 5 years ago

So sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this person.

Deja Coffin 5 years ago

So sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this person.

babygirl88 5 years ago

This is so very sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of this person......Only one can speculate on a cause but from Scanner Traffic Overnight, An Attempt To Locate was put out on a Yellow Jeep that Leavenworth County had been chasing on 24/40 until they entered Douglas County then they called it off. It was said that they were driving Left of center and at speeds topping 100 mph.......Makes one wonder if this may be the same vehicle, either way it's still very sad.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

I'd say that's a very strong possibility. They clearly went over that hill way too fast, and were launched into the park.

Shaun Hittle 5 years ago

We're trying to find that out, but cannot confirm as of 11:20 a.m.

Shaun Hittle LJW Reporter

Deja Coffin 5 years ago

Can you say whether it was a male or female yet?

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

Biggunz, For decades the front porch, the lunch joint, people moving without holding up in silence inducing air-conditioned vehicles has left a giant gap in communications.

I do remember a day when neighbors would stop on an evening walk and chat about just this type of story. Just look how homes and apartments are built nowadays. One can live in an area and not know the people living 3 doors away.

Odd isn’t you posted on this tragedy.

You, I and others do wish to hear more news than what’s printed. We are interested in what others think.

I see nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with people digitally chatting about the goings on.

true_patriot 5 years ago

You know that would have been specular to have witnessed first hand. Tragic and amazing at the same time.

Sounds like he hit the intersection at an insane speed and never had time to react (too drunk, too unfamiliar with the territory, etc).

chootspa 5 years ago

Witnessing severe accidents or the aftermath is not at all fun.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

It sure does make you stop and think, though.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

But, that's the only reason I watch NASCAR.

mrbig 5 years ago

Alcohol doesn't necessarily have to be a factor. Wranglers roll easily, but they probably would've been fine if they had been wearing their seatbelt, because Wranglers have roll cages designed for off-road incidents.

Shaun Hittle 5 years ago

Yes, the levee. Thanks for the heads up.

one2no 5 years ago

I would say from the radio traffic that this is the same jeep that Leavenworth Co was 10-32 with. The jeep came through the intersection of Tee Pee Jct kinda hot. I guess should have turned around and gone back to see about a tow but figured it was most likely owners preference,Hillwho.

BoEvil 5 years ago

What is a 10-32? plz What do you mean by " I guess should have turned around and gone back to see about a tow but figured it was most likely owners preference, Hillwho." ? Maybe that last part will make more sense when I know what a 10-32 is?

It's hard to take all these comments in as we are the family left behind hurting..

Thanx in advance for clarification.

XE 5 years ago

I looked it up on kansas code site and i think it is chase all units stand by

Rae Hudspeth 5 years ago

Seriously? It's still sad for a human being to have died alone with no one there to have even called for assistance... they might have had a fighting chance. My condolences to any family and friends of the deceased.

Rae Hudspeth 5 years ago

Thank you, LJ Staff for removing that insensitive comment above mine.

Kris_H 5 years ago

Probable bad choices, but still sad for those left behind.

blindrabbit 5 years ago

With the train tracks on the levee, has any thought been given to a narrow miss by a train. That location has had that happen before!

Bob Forer 5 years ago

Sorry, but the deceased did not "effectively receive the death penalty." The death penalty is a punishment meted out by society for the ultimate crime.
Society did nothing to take the life of the deceased. he took his own life with his recklessness. The analogy you seek to draw is ill-conceived.

You don't think that recklessly running from the police is a grave crime? He endangered the life of every person who fortuitously happened to come into his path. You don't consider such contemptible action to be "grave?"

doc1 5 years ago

There are going to be a lot more car chases in the future. The news is going around in the bad guy community that all you have to do is drive recklessly and the cops won't chase you. Had the chase continued I'm sure they would have had spike strips set up before this accident happened.

BoEvil 5 years ago

We miss him greatly already. Thanks for all the prayers. We will be needing them for a while to come. Remember all our loved ones are always just one step away from death. Noone is promised tomorrow. Leave no regrets. Tell the people you love, just that, that you love them.

Deja Coffin 5 years ago

Any update on the identity of the victim?

Shaun Hittle 5 years ago

The authorities have still not yet released identity. Not that unusual in this type of case. Usually takes some time before police will release the name.

BoEvil 5 years ago

Please consider the private message I sent to you. Thank you

Bob Forer 5 years ago

I am saddened by a world with on-going wars. i am saddened by the fact that people die of hunger in a post-industrial world. I am saddened by the fact that more and more Americans are slipping into poverty.

However, I am not saddened by the fact that a person with demonstrated anti-social tendencies who endangered the lives of innocent human beings he never met by recklessly running from the police lost his life because of his contemptible disregard for the lives and well being of others.

Nor do I rejoice. But there are profoundly more tragic events in this world worthy of my sympathy.

BoEvil 5 years ago

I wonder if you would havea the same veiw if this had happened to your cousin, niece, nephew or other loved one?

Yeah... I think not! You make it sound as if this was a life style... "demonstrated ant- social tendencies"?? Didn't realize you even knew him! Ever consider maybe he was just having a troubled day or that something out of his personl control was going on?

People and opinions!! You know what they say... Opinions are like an anus, everyone has one and MOST of them stink. (put as politely as I could)

Scruggsy 5 years ago

Thankfully no innocent people were harmed during his troubled day. As far as we know.

Sad, sad, sad...


Bob Forer 5 years ago

Don't you think your time would be better spent now comforting the bereaved family and close friends?

4Always4 5 years ago

Don't you think your time would be better spent doing ANYthing but harassing someone who obviously IS saddened by this death? Have you no decency?

Bob Forer 5 years ago

I am the one who was harassed for expressing my opinion. get off your high horse.

Getaroom 4 years, 12 months ago

And sometimes, just because you can say something does not mean you should and that goes for all of us and perhaps most especially concerning these news items.

4Always4 5 years ago

@ Sychopant, I think it is very anti-social behavior to come onto a sight like this, after a tragic accident has taken a life, just to say you are not sad for the death. Obviously the family of the deceased is going to read these comments and to see a jerk saying things like that is not something they need. Keep your self righteous comments to yourself, please. Talk about anti-social like it's something that is beyond you. Right. You do not know why this accident occurred. No one has asked for your sympathy, nor would they want it I can assure you.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

I was merely responding to the saintly folks among us who earlier expressed profound sadness for this terrible tragedy. Me? I ain't got that many tears to go around.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

I was merely responding to the saintly folks among us who earlier expressed profound sadness for this terrible tragedy. Me? I ain't got that many tears to go around.

Deja Coffin 5 years ago

This unsaintly person is sad for the loss of this person. This decision, whether split second or not will cause a void and hurt in the lives of their friends and family that will never go away. I'm also sorry for the person that died and either wasn't able to see the extent of their actions or in a moment felt this was their only choice. I feel sorry for the person that died because it did just take one bad decision to end it all. While I've never tried to outrun the cops or whatever the circumstances were, I know I have done things (especially when I was a teen) that could have had horrible outcomes. Even something as not looking as well as I could when pulling out of a stop sign only to see that I narrowly missed the motorcycle speeding by. I'm thankful that I have been given the chance to look back at my bad decisions and see where I could have done things differently. Unfortunately this person isn't so lucky. And it truly is unfortunate because I believe that if they knew of the ultimate price they would be paying for driving recklessly, they probably would have done things differently. I'm not asking you to take pity on this individual because you're allowed to believe what you want to believe but don't put down those who truly do feel bad about the accident in the process.

Scruggsy 5 years ago

If it is true that this person was leading the police on a high speed chase, then I would not consider this to be an "accident".

Innocent drivers do not deserve to encounter a driver such as this one.

Miracle nobody else was taken out in this incident.

fatheadff 5 years ago

He passed us at midnight right in front of the Lawrence airport entrance and he was all over the road. He prolly turned left on 7th St by the airport motel and then eneded up on the levee. But after he passed a Tongie Pd officer passed us at mud creek bridge but would of never of saw him turn. Sorry for the loss but I bet it happened shortly after midnight.

Bob Forer 5 years ago

Were there many other vehicles on the road at the time?

Kelly Johnson 5 years ago

My sympathy to his family & friends.

I'm glad no one else was injured which would have made a bad thing even worse.

I'm curious - does anyone know if DG county LE was advised of this vehicle entering the county?

Daniel Dicks 5 years ago

This yellow jeep looks stikingly similar to the one that blew by me thru the left hand turn lane while I waited at the red light at 12:40 am. The jeep must have been doing 60-70 in a thirty thru the intersection. Tongie Police persued but may have lost him turning off 24-40 after heading west towards Lawrence. Cops and Troopers were all around. After witnessing this display of indifference to the safety of others, I am glad he only hurt himself. It was insane!

rubberband 5 years ago

It never ceases to amaze me the judgment that is passed after every single accident by all the holier-than-thou's on this forum who apparently know all about the circumstances and the lives, actions, motivations, intentions, and states of mind of those involved despite the fact that they actually know nothing. You all need to get over yourselves.

Kelly Johnson 5 years ago

You gotta admit, assuming the information is correct about this vehicle driving at excessive speeds and eluding police, there is NO motivation, intention, or state of mind that is excusable except some type of mechanical malfunction. And if it were a mechanical issue it seems likely that the driver would have been trying to get help somehow.

Daniel Dicks 5 years ago

I know what I saw, band-o-rubber. I was there. Sounds to me like you're the one passing holier than thou judgement. One that I will dismiss as premature and incorrect

Naman 5 years ago

It is greatly saddening that this tragic event happened, whatever the circumstances. A life is lost, and while it is lucky that no one else was injured, it is still horrific that one lovely soul met it's end. Condolences to to this person's family. Ignore the negativity of those who did not know your loved one. They do not matter.

"Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one." (Theodore Roosevelt)

Daniel Dicks 5 years ago

A tradgedy for sure, but I got to wonder what was making this person behave in such a way? It looked absolutely insane. So mental illness? Bad chemistry? What was the problem? An earlier poster saw him come by the Lawrence airport entrance on 24-40. I saw him in Tongie. So he didn't ever turn off the highway. He must of been going top speed to beat the responding cops I saw. And was already crashed by the time I came to 59hwy near Riverfront Park at 12:45 am. I'll be looking for follow up reporting on this one.

rubberband 5 years ago

Well gee, loather-o-bushes, defensive much? I was actually referring to earlier posts. Every time there is an accident in the area, there is a frenzy of inane speculation, and folks seem to find some kind of joy in wishing ill will on others before there are even any facts. But if the shoe fits....

Daniel Dicks 5 years ago

Yeah, okay. Sorry bout that. Thought it was directed at me. PEACE.

BlackVelvet 5 years ago

We don't know why he ran from the Police in the first place. Yes, it would be great if we didn't have pursuits. They are dangerous. To many persons. But how would you feel if this guy had hit your wife/mother/sister/anyone important to you and fled the scene, then fled from the cops. AND, he had stolen the car. And if the cops did not pursue him, they would not know who the driver was. And you'd be peeved. If not, there's something seriously wrong with you. Sometimes the Police have to pursue.

costello 5 years ago

Very sad to hear about this death. My condolences to the family.

mich 5 years ago

you know people should just give the family thoughts and prayers to get thru these awful hard is not easy to get thru this stuff.nobody knows what really happend.

5 years ago

This is so sad to hear that someone passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out to this person's family and friends. This is not easy to get a message saying that your love one has passed away from an accident of any kind.

friendlyjhawk 5 years ago

LJW, why don't you turn off your "Post a comment" sections? It is one thing to have an opinion and submit a letter to the editor with YOUR NAME ON IT but allowing and encouraging these anonymous comments on everything from produce, politics and death is bringing out the worst in the people who comment here. It is easy to express a hateful opinion when you don't have to put your name on it!

kenos 5 years ago

People like me are going to wade through these posts because they're troubled by this tragic death, so don't turn off the posts too early. If you can excuse the jabs, I actually might have been able to piece together what happened. I'm guessing it was a young man who didn't know the territory, and who hadn't gotten out that much. I thought they closed those gates after the park closed. They must have been open. Whoever it was, they still need our prayers.

rcr 4 years, 12 months ago

Really, where is the updates on this story? I guess the LJW staff doesn't work weekends.

TheOriginalCA 4 years, 11 months ago

About 40 years ago there was a fatality accident at the exact same location and had striking similarities. The car was there for several hours before it was noticed but foul play might have ben a factor in that one, but really can't fully remember.

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