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Archive for Friday, December 9, 2011

Updated police report shows driver’s blood-alcohol content in 2010 Lawrence crash was nearly three times the legal limit

December 9, 2011

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Sean Walker

Sean Walker

A 23-year-old Overland Park man’s blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the state’s legal limit two hours after a 2010 crash on Clinton Parkway that killed a 19-year-old Lawrence woman, according to an updated Lawrence police report.

Investigators also calculated that Sean Barrett Walker was driving his 2001 Jeep Cherokee at 56 mph upon impact with the 2006 Nissan Sentra that Mary Grace Paez, a 2010 Lawrence High School graduate, was driving at 1:30 a.m. Oct. 14, 2010, at the intersection of Clinton Parkway and Inverness Drive. The report lists Walker’s speeding and being under the influence of alcohol as contributing factors to the crash. Walker’s blood-alcohol content was 0.23. The Kansas legal limit to drive is 0.08.

A Douglas County judge on Monday approved a $100,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by Paez’s parents against Walker. The settlement was reached with Walker’s insurance carrier, Geico, but documents in the suit did not mention specific details of the crash.

Paez died at the crash scene. Walker, who was treated at the scene for a head injury, refused to submit to testing. Police then obtained a search warrant, and a phlebotomist at Lawrence Memorial Hospital drew his blood at 3:35 a.m., just more than two hours after the crash.

Walker was headed west on Clinton Parkway and entered the intersection on a flashing yellow light. Paez was headed south on Inverness Drive and entered the intersection after she had stopped at a flashing red light. The Jeep struck her Nissan on the driver’s side.

According to the accident report, Walker was traveling at least 11 mph faster than the 45 mph speed limit on Clinton Parkway, and Paez’s vehicle was traveling 13 mph in the 30 mph zone. A toxicology test on Paez was negative for alcohol and drugs, according to a coroner’s report.

Walker is currently serving a prison sentence for a probation violation in an unrelated 2006 Johnson County attempted robbery and battery case, and Douglas County prosecutors in recent months have been reviewing information from the fatality accident.

“We anticipate filing charges in the near future,” District Attorney Charles Branson said Friday morning.

Comments

GMom05 2 years, 4 months ago

The article does not say who entered the intersection first, only that she had stopped at her red light before she proceeded. If she was already in the intersection, than he, with the yellow (caution) light should only have proceeded slowly if it was clear. He does not have the right to blaze through a yellow if the intersection isn't clear. As far as I know. Even if she saw him at a distance she may not have recognized that he was going more than 4 times faster than she was, that he'd likely close the gap quickly, and that he'd enter the intersection the same time she was. It seems to me that she did what she was supposed to and had reasonable expectation that he would slow for the yellow upon reaching the intersection. He just seemed further away (and at that speed probably was further away). I think most people in her position would have stopped, checked to see that someone wasn't approaching the intersection imminently, and if they weren't very close, would have proceeded through rather than wait. Maybe she just misjudged his speed and how far away he was.

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tange 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Bob Forer 2 years, 4 months ago

Even though the young lady pulled out in front of him, we can't say for sure absent the speeding and the diminished capacity of the driver a collision would have occurred, or alternatively, would have nonetheless occurred but with insufficient force to cause a fatality.

Folks, don't drink and then drive.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 4 months ago

I note that even as wasted as he was, he had the presence of mind to refuse to submit to having his blood alcohol tested. He knew he would fail. He had a guilty mind and thought only of avoiding consequences of his actions. He showed no remorse then and deserves no pity at sentencing.

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oletimer 2 years, 4 months ago

eleven miles an hour over the speed limit? Heck 75% of drivers out there drive that fast! The drinking part is a bad deal, but the settlement was still excessive.

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 4 months ago

geico paid the full amount they were liable for (I'll wager) now it's lawsuit time against him. I hope they suck him dry for the rest of his life.

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somebodynew 2 years, 4 months ago

And there is the reason for the settlement that some of you were wondering about.

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smitty 2 years, 4 months ago

Yuup!! That's what I thought happened.

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