Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kansas hit-and-run law prompted by Lawrence fatalities

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law House Bill 2044, which increases penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident. The measure was prompted by several fatalities in Lawrence. Also speaking were House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence; Ryan Crum, whose father, Thomas Crum, was killed in a 2008 hit-and-run accident; and Michael Kanost, whose son Ryan was killed in 2006 while he was a student at Kansas University.

May 12, 2011


With family members of victims of fatal hit-and-run accidents in Lawrence by his side, Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law a bill that will increase penalties for leaving the scene of an accident.

“It’s a great day for our families and a great day for Kansas,” said Ryan Crum, whose father, Thomas Crum, was killed in a 2008 hit-and-run accident.

Also at the signing ceremony was the family of Ryan Kanost, who was killed in 2006 while a student at Kansas University. The bill had also been supported by the family of Rachel Leek, who was hit and killed in 2009 while riding her bicycle.

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, and House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence championed the legislation, along with Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Holland said.

Davis said today when a person who leaves the scene of a fatal or serious injury accident can easily avoid serving time in jail. Under the new law, which will take effect July 1, jail time would be more likely, he said.


ksjayhawk74 7 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like good law. The way it has been, if you have an accident and are drunk, it's much easier to go home and sober up before you report the incident.

This law seems to only be tough against accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries. So a person can still get away with leaving to sober up if no one was hurt.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago

This is a good thing.

Of course, it was championed by 2 Democratic legislators, and I imagine a more moderate Republican governor or a Democratic one would also have signed it.

somebodynew 7 years, 1 month ago

Well con1 I didn't think you would care, so I will tell you anyhow. Not everything he does is wrong and this is a good thing. Plus it doesn't interfere with his taking control of the world, so I am sure he saw no harm for him in it.

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 1 month ago

The jail time is still insignificant, this bill doesn't do enough.

Fleeing the scene of a fatality (or serious injury accident) should result in the same punishment (if not worse) then if the person had stayed on the scene. If a person is drunk driving and strikes and kills someone... the legal system shouldn't give that drunk driver a reward for not doing the right thing and fleeing the scene. The way the system has been and the way it still is... you are better off fleeing if you drive drunk and kill someone.

jafs 7 years, 1 month ago


The incentives should be structured for the person to report it and help.

RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

Good job Ryan! Does heels007 still want to tell "his" side of the story?

"heels007 (anonymous) says…

Dont make it personal with don't know me and i never attacked you. I'm just stating my side of the issue. December 4, 2008 at 10:08 p.m."

"Pywacket (anonymous) says…

heel~ "MY side"? Sounds like maybe little jakey is online and trying to rationalize away his guilt.How in the hell can this have been the victim's fault? Unless the initial articles were incorrect, he was traveling east on 6th St. He had the right of way.he had the right of way.Anyone heading onto 6th from Gateway was legally bound to stop at the stop sign and wait for traffic to clear before proceeding into the intersection. Had Deckert done so, how could there possibly have been such a collision? Crum's car suddenly jumped southward from the lane it was in? while still facing east?As for the victim being intoxicated, that does not negate:--Deckert's failing to yield the right of way--Deckert's cowardly act of leaving the scene and leaving a man to die--Deckert's own intoxication, which he has admitted (so get off your denial pose).Had the victim lived, he probably would have been charged with his own DUI, which would have been fitting and fair. And again--Crum's inebriation does not excuse or mitigate Deckert's. In leaving the scene of a fatality accident, Deckert proved himself to be a sniveling little coward, with no character or honor. Whether you, little heel, are actually him or his naive little girlfriend, you should face up to the reality of his lack of character and humanity.He could learn from this and come out of it a better and deeper person. Somehow, I suspect this will not be the case." December 4, 2008 at 10:45 p.m.

Pretty sure that's still not the case, Pywacket . . .

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Multidisciplinary (anonymous) says… "Why are you giving Brownback the credit for this con?"

From the relevant parts of the bill: K.S.A. 8-1602. (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to, great bodily harm to or death of any person or damage to any attended vehicle or property shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible, but shall then forthwith immediately return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of K.S.A. 8- 1604, and amendments thereto. (b) A person who violates subsection (a) when an accident results in: (1) Total property damages of less than $1,000 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in K.S.A.8-2116, and amendments thereto. (2) Injury to any person or total property damages in excess of $1,000 or more shall be guilty of a class A person misdemeanor. (3) Great bodily harm to any person shall be guilty of a severity level 8, person felony. (4) The death of any person shall be guilty of a severity level 6, person felony, except as provided in subsection (a)(5). (5) The death of any person, if the person knew or reasonably should have known that such accident resulted in injury or death, shall be a level 5, person felony.

K.S.A. 8-1604. (2) Such driver, insofar as possible, shall immediately make efforts to determine whether any person involved in such accident was injured or killed, and shall render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

How is this a "con" exactly?

amrose42683 7 years, 1 month ago

'Con' is short for 'consumer1' ... not calling the bill a con

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

amrose42683 (anonymous) replies… "'Con' is short for 'consumer1' ... not calling the bill a con"

Ahhhh! Thanks for clearing that up!

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Here are some details that did not make it into the LJWorld article, for whatever reason...

"A few representatives, including Rep. Nile Dillmore, D-Wichita, spoke against the measure, saying they were concerned about removing a requirement that licenses for drivers with five or more DUIs be revoked. I think we are moving backwards on that," Dillmore said."

If I read this correctly, the bill had a provision that would revoke a persons license after a fifth DUI, but that provision was removed from the bill. Unbelievable. I wonder who wanted that provision removed?

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Yet another tidbit that didn't make it into the LJWorld artice ....

"Prosecutors charged the driver with his fifth DUI after the accident, state and county records show. But because of gaps in reporting, the state driver's license database showed only two of those convictions."

I can assure you that this "gap" in reporting is very widespread and has impacted many DUI cases in Douglas County Kansas. Both the prosecution and the defense bar are very aware of multiple missing records in Kansas. Often the prosecution will ask the defense to agree to a certain number of priors when the defense knows it is much higher. The truthful answer for a continuous defense attorney is to agree that the prosecution can only find a certain number of priors, not to agree that the prosecution has found all the priors.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Yet more information that was not a part of the LJWorld article ....

"Mary Ann Khoury, president and CEO of the DUI Victim Center of Kansas in Wichita, said earlier this week that she was encouraged about the repository, first-time interlock and funding for community corrections. But she said she was disappointed that the state will not make refusing a breath alcohol test a crime, as originally proposed by the DUI commission."

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Here is some information that might be of interest to LJWorld readers that somehow did not make it into the LJWorld article....

"The fate of the bill was in question last week when legislators were slow to put money in the state's 2012 budget to fund community corrections for DUI offenders. Budget negotiators agreed on $1.5 million for community corrections, and that, combined with an increase in fines, should help corrections be able to monitor offenders, Colloton said."

"Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, had been ready to throw out the bill at one point if legislators didn't fund community corrections."

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

Oppps, very embarrassed! This was Senate Bill 6, a different DUI law. I am now available to open mocking and much derision having already donned a well worn hair shirt.

Here is the text of Senate Bill 6.

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