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Archive for Sunday, July 10, 2011

Child critically injured in bicycle accident in rural Douglas County

The Kansas Highway Patrol and Douglas County Sheriff's deputies were investigating an accident near the intersection fo County Roads E 1500 and N 1100, south of Lawrence. The accident involved a pickup truck and bicyclist, ridden by a 13-year-old girl. The girl was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in critical condition, according to KHP.

July 10, 2011, 8:15 a.m. Updated July 10, 2011, 5:25 p.m.

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Kansas Highway Patrol troopers along with Douglas Count Sheriff's deputies work the scene of a bike versus truck near the intersection of E 1500 and N 1000 roads. The bicyclist, a 13-year-old girl, was life flighted to Children's Mercy Hospital.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers along with Douglas Count Sheriff's deputies work the scene of a bike versus truck near the intersection of E 1500 and N 1000 roads. The bicyclist, a 13-year-old girl, was life flighted to Children's Mercy Hospital.

Bicycle Accident

A 13-year-old Maple Hill girl was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries after being hit while riding her bicycle near the intersection of East 1500 Road and North 1100 Road, south of Lawrence.

Kansas State Trooper Casey Simoneau identified the girl as Mikal Bond. Emergency crews on the scene reported that the girl was unconscious when they arrived.

The accident happened about 7:30 a.m. Sunday on East 1500 Road, which is Haskell Road in the city of Lawrence, between the Wakarusa River and County Road 458.

Simoneau said the collision occurred when the girl, traveling east on North 1100 Road, failed to stop at the stop sign and collided with a white Ford pickup truck, traveling south on East 1500 Road. The pickup was driven by Kathy Robb, 46, of Melvern. Both she and the other passenger in the truck, 19-year-old Kyle Robb, also of Melvern, were not injured in the accident, according to a report from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

A LifeStar helicopter was called to the scene and transported the girl at about 8 a.m. to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. However, a spokeswoman for the hospital said the girl was not listed as a patient at the hospital. As of 5:30 p.m., the Journal-World was not able to confirm which hospital the girl was at, or what her current status is.

The girl was riding Sunday morning as part of the Lizard Under the Skillet bike ride organized by the Lawrence Bicycle Club. As emergency crews cleared the roadway, dozens of other bicyclists rode by asking about what happened.

Lee Merrill, president of the club, said news of the accident has affected the riders.

"The whole club has their thoughts and prayers with the family," he said. "We hope for a speedy recovery.

Check LJWorld.com for updates.

Comments

Jean1183 3 years, 5 months ago

Prayers that she is OK. That is a horrible road for bicyclists to ride. I cringe whenever I see someone riding there!

David Roberts 3 years, 5 months ago

This is one of the only options for riding a bicycle South of Lawrence.

MattressMan 3 years, 5 months ago

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xclusive85 3 years, 5 months ago

thuja, you are right. Everyone needs to be safer on the roads. Riding on the right side of the lane may help a car that is going too fast or not paying attention miss you if they don't have to swerve as far to miss you when they do finally see you.

Jay_lo 3 years, 5 months ago

You are right to a point. N 1100 is the safer of the two but when you cross E 1500 you are for that short amount of time a part of the traffic on E 1500 and if it is more dangerous you need to adjust accordingly.

By the way, I think your comment about cringing and fast moving vehicle is in poor taste.

Lana Christie-Hayes 3 years, 5 months ago

Thoughts and prayers going up for this young lady and her family and friends! God Bless them all during this difficult time,.

Mike Ford 3 years, 5 months ago

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Mike Ford 3 years, 5 months ago

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

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MattressMan 3 years, 5 months ago

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50YearResident 3 years, 5 months ago

The bicylist had the stop sign. The truck did not have to stop traveling North or South.

shaunepec 3 years, 5 months ago

50yearresident, Thanks for clearing that up. You are correct.

hedshrinker 3 years, 5 months ago

I heard multiple emergency sirens in east lawrence on their way to this as I was doing early am yardwork and then saw the Lifeflite helicopter overhead and knew the situation was dire...such a tragedy unfolding for all, I'm afraid.

kskufan1987 3 years, 5 months ago

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David Dunlap 3 years, 5 months ago

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grimpeur 3 years, 5 months ago

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dontbehatin 3 years, 5 months ago

The girl that was injured has a wonderful family, including her parents, who were on the ride with her today. Why she ran the stop sign is unknown- they were riding in the Lizard under the Skillet ride, and she has only ridden in a couple of these organized rides. Everyone makes mistakes. Perhaps everyone should put their energy into positive thoughts for this family- they will need it.

earlphoto 3 years, 5 months ago

I'm sick to death of cyclists being characterized as not paying taxes, not having insurance, etc. I am a cyclist. I ride just about everyday, year round. I don't damage roads with my bike. I pay taxes on 3 cars and two houses. I would gladly pay a couple of hundred dollars a year above my current taxes to shut up the idiots who repeatedly posit this stupid argument for keeping bicycles off the roads.

grimpeur 3 years, 5 months ago

This. Earl is correct. I pay taxes on 4 personal vehicles and 3 commercial ones. And I ride a bicycle to work every day. Where's my tax credit?

redmoonrising 3 years, 5 months ago

I cannot ride a bike but I have no more trouble with them on the road than the driver of a vehicle as long as they both obey the rules of the road. I've seen both coasting through stop signs and pulling right out in front of me. Driver or cyclist, just pay attention and follow the rules of driving/riding. It's your life you have in your own hands. Don't ever assume someone else is taking that responsibility, especially on the road.

Having said that, I still find it awful, what has happened to this child. I also feel badly for the woman and son who hit her. They were not at fault but will live with the guilt of this for the rest of their lives. A no win situation. I pray this girl fully recovers from her injuries.

earlphoto 3 years, 5 months ago

You mind telling us exactly which wider, slower roads you're referring to? Don't think there are a lot of those around here.

cowboy 3 years, 5 months ago

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Shelly Welcher 3 years, 5 months ago

Could everyone posting on here remember that a child has been critically injured. Stop trippin about insurance, taxes, or any other argument. This Child and family needs positive thoughts and lots of prayers.

Shelly Welcher 3 years, 5 months ago

Could everyone posting on here remember that a child has been critically injured. Stop trippin about insurance, taxes, or any other argument. This Child and family needs positive thoughts and lots of prayers.

mom_of_three 3 years, 5 months ago

regardless of how many are thinking of that little girl, people are talking on this blog about how to prevent this in the future. It is a discussion and frankly, not a prayer chain, for anyone.

Too bad there can't be signs posted on the roads during special events, such as please be careful, bicycle riders using the road, etc. The club could be responsble for putting them up under the direction of a county or police official and be responsible for taking them down.

and the last time I checked, you can think all the positive thoughts about the child and more than one thing at the same time. However, I do hope the little girl and the driver are able to recover from this accident. my heart does break for all the adults on this trip who should have been taking better watch of all involved

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

"It is,,, not a prayer chain, for anyone."

I don't understand why you feel that way. That is simply how many people express their condolences.

In many cases the family derives comfort from prayers being mentioned for the victims of accidents.

earlphoto 3 years, 5 months ago

The ones "trippin" about insurance and taxes were not the ones who brought up that issue. Everytime a cyclist is injured, the conversation devolves to that stupid argument, which has been removed from the comments. You're right about the rider and her family needing prayers.

Mike Ford 3 years, 5 months ago

I drive in that area daily. I drive the speed limit. I am constantly tail gated by bigger vehicles. they probably don't have any more regard for smaller vehicles than they did for a bicycle. Not far from there a man assaulted a bicyclist and was convicted of it in the last year. This was an accident plain and simple. I wasn't attacking the driver in the accident verbally, I was stating that as a whole drivers in this area going to Baldwin or Vinland tend to drive 5 to 10 or more over and drive distracted with phones. I see it every day I go to work. My sibling was airlifted to Stormont Vail in 1993 with a closed head injury and survived with no short term memory and permanent partial blindness and deafness after an accident. My mother died July 24, 2009, in a car accident out of state. So again moderator...tell my why my comment was removed??? I advocate unsuccessfully so far for safer rural driving by making the comments I made earlier. Do you get it now???

Erin Graham 3 years, 5 months ago

It's not necessarily more dangerous. City driving has its own issues (speeders as well).
I'm originally from the depths of rural KS.. the problem is, people (not everyone) tend to get the mentality that b/c they're more removed from the city/town, and see less traffic overall, they can get away with driving 'just a little faster'..

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Was law enforcement involved in this ride?

If not they should be at intersections such as this... no matter the cost to taxpayers.

Just thinking.

We all want this young person to make it....

Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

"...no matter the cost to taxpayers...." Not with MY tax dollars!!! (channeling a certain prolific poster)

grimpeur 3 years, 5 months ago

The organizer of the ride would pay for police or sheriff. That's pretty normal for events like this. Course marshals in hi-vis vests would be good.

commuter 3 years, 5 months ago

Merrill what???? How come when you want something you don't care about how much it will costs all of us but when you don't want something, you go crazy about the costs??

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Or least volunteers in bright vests with flags or signs to slow down traffic.

Jean Robart 3 years, 5 months ago

why? The truck driver did nothing wrong. She naturally figured that the bicyclist would obey stop sign--like is supposed to happen

Mike Ford 3 years, 5 months ago

no, rural driving involves dealing with numerous vehicles with franklin county tags who act like speed limit laws don't apply to them on 59. it also involves people passing in no passing zones and not being ticketed for it. last week on 56 I was passed doing 59 in a 60 and the truck that passed me nearly met head on a vehicle pulling out of a driveway going eastbound as the guy passing me was going westbound. speed limits don't apply out here. speed kills. people going slower see other drivers and cyclists and don't come up on them so quickly.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

I had a conversation with a retired police officer a few months ago. He told me that when he first started working as an officer, he didn't issue very many tickets for speeding.

But, then he told me that after he had worked a few accident scenes (he did not describe any of them, but I'm sure they were very unpleasant), he changed his attitude, and started ticketing any driver that he could clock at 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

He claimed that most accidents could be avoided if people were driving just a bit slower, and so he considered it to be a major part of his job to attempt to make drivers slow down.

audball 3 years, 5 months ago

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JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 5 months ago

The simple truth is that most highways, county roads and city streets in this street are MULTIMODAL facilities. People driving cars need to keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists just as truck drivers need to keep an eye out for cars, bikes and walkers. Too many people are driving while distracted and/or driving too fast.

I don't know the details of what happened, but in general, people should just be more courteous and more cautious. The mean streets would be a little friendlier if we all did that...

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

I certainly hope that Mikal completely recovers, and does not have any long term psychological trauma resulting from this incident.

And I also hope that the driver of the pickup truck can go on without terrific feelings of guilt for the rest of her life. This was an accident, pure and simple. Everyone makes mistakes, and it takes only a moment's distraction for a situation to become tragic.

I've felt for a long time that there should be wider shoulders with bicycle lanes on more roads and highways than there presently are.

Another thing that bothers me is the danger that Amish people who choose to use a horse and buggy for transportation are subjected to every day. Just recently there was a horrific accident in Illinois between a semi truck and an Amish buggy that resulted in a fatality. http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/09/3003295/amish-girl-killed-3-hurt-in-ky.html

I've been told, and from my experience it's true, that when you have an accident, it's always with the nicest person you could imagine. It seems that it's always the real jerks that always have sheer luck on their side.

audball 3 years, 5 months ago

Exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it much better.

Jay_lo 3 years, 5 months ago

"I've felt for a long time that there should be wider shoulders with bicycle lanes on more roads and highways than there presently are."

I can see your point, but it has nothing to do with this accident. No one came up behind anyone. I pray for the little girl's recovery, but the fact remains that the story indicates she did not stop at the stop sign.

A lot of people have posted comments about excessive speed and driver distractions but again neither seem to apply here according to the story.

Vehicles can't stop on a dime, and you can't possibly drive slow enough, or actually stop at every intersection where you have the right of way whenever you see a vehicle approaching from the side without becoming a traffic hazard yourself.

Unless a vehicle is approaching a stop sign so fast that you can reasonably assume that they won't have time to stop, there is just no way to anticipate when someone may run a stop sign or red light.

Again prayers for all involved and their families.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

My comments were more about safety for everyone in general rather than about this particular accident.

Mentioning the tragic accident with the Amish buggy should have made that clear.

Boston_Corbett 3 years, 5 months ago

This has nothing to do with a bicycle. You have a rural intersection controlled by a stop sign. Had the bike been another pickup which missed a stop sign, you would have the same outcome.

My thoughts are with all involved in the incident.

Bignmean 3 years, 5 months ago

I rode the 62 today, got there after it happened.Have you ever found yourself following a bunch of arrogant riders and suddenly realized you were followin them through a stop sign? Or have you ever come upon a sign and reached for your brakes to find that you saw the sign a little too late? Do any of you know the exact circumstances? I was a FF/EMT for years and can tell you, for a fact,unless you have spoken to the child, you don't know sickum.

Pray for her speedy recovery.

As for the people that don't like to see us riding on this road or that, TUFF. I will ride where I darned well please,I am a business owner and probably pay more in taxes than you make in a year. As for the area drivers,the farther south from Lawrence you go the faster they drive.

I ride the country roads all the time,most of the time I am alone,so I carry a cell phone ,cash and a 9mm pistol. I suppose if an arrogant motorist reads this and wonders if he can identify me, that is his choice to make. We have a bully where I live,he drives a 4 door 4WD white Ford pickup with dual CB antennaes,really is a nasty fellow,hates bikes. Watch out for him if you go west of Bonner.

My 12 year old rode with us today, my heart is breaking for this little girl, you are in our thoughts and prayers Mikal.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 5 months ago

I came across the police cars about 8:20AM and I thought the road was shut down for a race. Sorry to hear.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't know the girl, but my heart weeps for her and her family. Doesn't matter if she ran the stop sign or not, all that matters is that she is a child, a daughter and she is hurt. Let's as others have said, focus our energy on positive thoughts and prayers for her and her family.

audball 3 years, 5 months ago

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KUguyinLBC 3 years, 5 months ago

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purplesage 3 years, 5 months ago

Once again, a string of removed comments and a bunch of inane questions and statements. When will LJW disable comments on this kind of story? It is past time.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

Maybe for articles such as this one, the system could be altered so that only verified users would be able to comment.

It's all to easy to be rude and callus when hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

Erin Graham 3 years, 5 months ago

Agreed! Either disable, a moderator 'approve' comments before they're posted, or weed out the anonymity!

HappyEmployee 3 years, 5 months ago

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Brandi Simpson-Glover 3 years, 5 months ago

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

"Have to pass a cyclist"

I don't remember ever being in that situation.

True, I have slowed down for a vehicle that was moving more slowly than I was many times, but I never felt that it was an absolute necessity to get in front of rather than stay behind a farm tractor or bicycle for a few moments until it was safe to pass.

The most time you could actually save is only a few seconds.

And as for your comment: "hope the child recovers quickly", let's also hope that you have a very good liability insurance policy, because the driver that rear ends another vehicle is the one responsible for the accident.

costello 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with bniccole. I've lived in rural Douglas County for 15 years, and the numbers of bicyclists on the narrow highways around my home have increased yearly. It's dangerous. To me it's not a question of whether they're following the rules or not. These roads aren't meant to accommodate both cars and bicycles. There's not enough room, and it's not safe.

A lone bicyclist here and there isn't so bad, but when huge groups take over the road and bring traffic down to 10 mph or less, with cars waiting for a chance to pass long lines of bikes, it's too much.

I'm sorry if that offends people, but the bicyclists who bother me aren't using the road for transportation. They're engaging in a hobby. I sometimes think I'd like to find out where these bicyclists live so I can organize a group of knitters (my hobby) to sit in the roads in front of their houses knitting, so they can't get out and run errands on a Saturday morning.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

The highways should be widened, not only for the bicyclists, but also so that an automobile driver with car trouble can safely pull over to the side of the road.

And, I'm all for the "rails-to-trails" projects. With dedicated trails to ride on from city to city, there is no need for bicycles to be on many highways at all. And they are ideal for "hobby riders".

I don't understand why there's so much resistance to those projects. The legal argument brought up against them is easements that were agreed upon over 100 years ago. I think it's time to get over that, our world has now changed.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

It would if the car drivers could stay in their lane, but it's true that a lot of them have trouble doing that.

woodlingwho 3 years, 5 months ago

That's the stupidist thing I've ever read....really. Roads are not made for knitting, they are for transportation, and some of us choose to use two wheels and no gas for our transportation, leisure or not. Lets take all the cars off the road that are out for leisure....really. It's a simple case of arrogance on the part of the automobile drivers that they hate bicycles so much. The world could be a better place.............................

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

Rephrasing the last part of your comment just a bit:

'The world could be a better place without arrogance.'

That's the understatement of the year!

mrbig 3 years, 5 months ago

Like This is a very sensative way of putting this, and I agree. I don't have a problem with a lone bicyclist or even a small group that stays single file like they're supposed to when they see a car coming in either direction- it is the massive groups of them that don't get over that make it dangerous. I think that bikes should not be allowed on roads with no shoulder that have a speed limit of 55 mph or more just like on interstates. It puts both the cars and the bicylists at risk.

My thoughts are with this little girl and the driver of the vehicle, and I hope both come away from this situation okay.

grimpeur 3 years, 5 months ago

And while you're at it, remove all motorists who are going to a basketball game, a restaurant, the movies, buying non-essential items at any retail store, or just visiting friends.

You'll also want to remove all single-occupancy drivers who drive within two miles of any coworker's home or within two miles of the workplace of anyone who lives within two miles of said single-occupancy driver. Because it is the wasteful abuse of our roads by these drivers, more than anything, that generates congestion, pollution, gridlock, and road wear, and which consumes more taxes than even the most dedicated car-owning bicyclist could ever hope to.

That's right: any single-occupancy driver like those in the above para is the source of your problems. So until you're willing to do something about that, it's completely hypocritical, not to mention pointless, to pretend that cyclists are causing more than a negligible amount of any of the woes on our roads.

The day that cyclists are the biggest problem on our roads will be a beautiful day, indeed.

Bignmean 3 years, 5 months ago

So Costello,are there big groups every day,weekend or year? If every day let me know where to sign up,I wanna go.

The 75 mph law from OP to Wichita saves about 10 minutes, maybe we should up the speed limit on rural roads to 70 just so country folk can lay around in bed a little longer. I would wager that cyclists because of their fitness level,don't have as much trouble getting out of bed in the morning and are less likely to be hauling ass to get to their destination.

As far as hobbies, I prefer bicycles to beer drinking or competetive eating. It's not really a destructive vice. Knitting is a nice hobby,but I wish you would stop killing all those innocent sheep to knit shawls.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

You're right.

Let's raise taxes so that the government can buy a car, pay for the gasoline, insurance, and repairs for anyone that cannot afford one.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

Sure. Build sidewalks between every city in the state.

Paula Kissinger 3 years, 5 months ago

Stop yapping about irrelevant crap and everybody pray for this girl, her family and the driver of the truck. This is why they are called accidents. Nothing was done intentionally. She was in very bad shape when she was transported...her condition was grave at that time. Her life will never be the same, nor will her parents', family members' or the truck driver's. Find another topic to bicker about. This one needs to be a prayer chain for that child.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

I think you're right, but some commenters want to argue about that. This was a previous comment on this thread:

mom_of_three (anonymous) replies… regardless of how many are thinking of that little girl, people are talking on this blog about how to prevent this in the future. It is a discussion and frankly, not a prayer chain, for anyone.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 5 months ago

One day when I was in 6th grade, I had an experience that I will never forget. And a couple other people never forgot it either, I'm sure.

I lived in a small town that did not have much traffic, and one afternoon I was riding my bicycle on the right hand side of the road, as I knew I was supposed to do.

I was riding to a friend's house. When I got to the street he lived on, I turned left.

There was a terrific screech of brakes, and when I looked to my left, there was a car bumper only about two or three feet from me!

Luckily, the driver of the car had not been speeding.

There were three factors involved, and they were that I had not made a hand signal indicating that I intended to make a left turn, I had not heard the car approaching, and I didn't look to see if one was about to pass me.

Not a single car had passed me for at least ten minutes, so I simply assumed that I had the street to myself.

I went home right away, and when I got there, my parents knew something was wrong because I was still shaking so much. I told them what had happened.

The following day, the other 6th grade teacher (we had two 6th grade teachers) told me that she had been a passenger in the car, it had scared her to death, and that I should always use hand signals to indicate turns when riding my bicycle.

"I was in that car!" were her exact words.

And everyone all knew each other of course, since it was such a small town.

Ever since, I've always been very aware that I should always look before making any sudden move on a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or even when walking across the street.

I still remember the event as clearly as I would if it had happened only last week.

asbury 3 years, 5 months ago

Prayers for the child and her family.........

Deja Coffin 3 years, 5 months ago

Praying that she has a full and speedy recovery.

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