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Archive for Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One person dies after being struck by a piece of metal that fell from an oncoming vehicle on the SLT in Lawrence

Douglas County Sheriff's officials investigate a fatality accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway near Clinton Parkway Tuesday, May 31, 2011. One person died when a piece of metal fell off an oncoming truck and went through the windshield.

Douglas County Sheriff's officials investigate a fatality accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway near Clinton Parkway Tuesday, May 31, 2011. One person died when a piece of metal fell off an oncoming truck and went through the windshield.

May 31, 2011, 12:25 p.m. Updated May 31, 2011, 5:53 p.m.

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One person killed in accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway

Douglas County Sheriff's officials investigate the scene of a fatal accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway near Clinton Parkway Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Undersheriff Steve Hornberger said officers believed the metal object fell from an eastbound pickup truck hauling a trailer, struck the windshield of a northbound vehicle and injured a passenger who later died. Enlarge video

Douglas County Sheriff's officers work the scene of a car accident near mile post 2 on Kansas Highway 10 Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

Douglas County Sheriff's officers work the scene of a car accident near mile post 2 on Kansas Highway 10 Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

A woman died after being struck by a piece of metal that fell from an oncoming vehicle Tuesday afternoon on the South Lawrence Trafficway north of Clinton Parkway, Douglas County Sheriff’s officials said.

Undersheriff Steve Hornberger said officers believed the metal object fell from an eastbound pickup truck hauling a trailer, struck the windshield of a northbound white pickup truck and injured the woman who was a passenger. She later died.

Later Tuesday, investigators were still looking for the eastbound pickup truck, and Hornberger said it was described as a dark-colored pickup truck that was pulling a 16-foot-long flatbed trailer carrying a large piece of equipment, possibly an old tractor.

The South Lawrence Trafficway was still closed as of 3 p.m. and traffic was being diverted off the highway and back on using the ramps at Clinton Parkway, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Hornberger called the driver a “person of interest” who might have information regarding the accident.

“It’s very possible they are not even aware that this piece of metal came from their pickup truck or trailer,” the undersheriff said.

The accident occurred at 12:15 p.m., and Hornberger encouraged anyone who was in the area around noon or later who might have any information about the crash to call the sheriff’s office at 785-843-0250, 785-841-0007 or Douglas County Crime Stoppers at 785-843-TIPS.

“We are actively looking for the other vehicle,” the undersheriff said.

According to a photo from the scene of the white pickup truck, the metal object apparently punctured a hole in the windshield on the passenger side.

Hornberger said officers were working to notify family members out of state before releasing the name or further details about the woman.

He said he was not aware of any other injuries associated with the crash.

Check back with LJWorld.com for updates.

Comments

mrbig 3 years, 4 months ago

The other driver probably has no idea at all.

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karmaxs3 3 years, 4 months ago

People really need to secure things they're hauling. This is so avoidable. Construction trucks are the worst.

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pizzapete 3 years, 4 months ago

How true, this kind of thing shouldn't happed. If you're driving a truck secure the load, especially when it's so windy.

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manfred 3 years, 4 months ago

I totally agree, though non-construction trucks can be just as bad; Once I was driving on 6th, and an idiot had stood up a metal shelf in the back of his pickup. Of course it flew out into traffic, and everyone had to slam on their brakes. Very dangerous.

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kbrancac 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I see unsecured stuff often, not to mention excessive speed of pick ups/ SUV's hauling trailers. There is no way the braking system of any pick up or large SUV can handle a panic stop when pulling a trailer at 75 or 80 mph. These drivers need to slow down.

I was doing 70 mph (in a sedan) in the far right hand lane of I 70 between Lawrence and Topeka last fall when a wide load semi came flying buy in the far left lane pulling a bulldozer! He had to be pushing 80 mph easily.

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countrygirl 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh how awful! Prayers for the driver and the family.

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LogicMan 3 years, 4 months ago

Very unfortunate, and such a wasteful loss of life. Secure those loads, as described above!

When the other vehicle is found I hope he or she has lots of liability insurance. Everyone else should review their coverage, and behaviors, too.

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LogicMan 3 years, 4 months ago

"The accident occurred at 12:15 p.m."

I suggest that the police watch that stretch tomorrow, around the same time and if they have a description of the vehicle. Maybe the person goes to lunch that same route each day.

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hip_gma 3 years, 4 months ago

How very sad. Prayers to the family. I worked with a man and his wife died of a similar freak accident. As mrbig stated, I bet the driver has no idea. God bless all involved.

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martyks 3 years, 4 months ago

I just can't imagine how it would feel to be driving along and the next thing you know, the person next to you is fatally wounded like that. My daughter and son argue for the front seat all the time. TBFTGOGGI.

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gccs14r 3 years, 4 months ago

I read a story about an incident in the early 80s. A husband and wife were out on their motorcycle, wearing 3/4 helmets. A shock absorber fell off of the car ahead and bounced into the air. The husband saw it coming and ducked. His wife didn't see it in time and it hit her in the face, killing her.

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SpeedRacer 3 years, 4 months ago

In all of the years of commuting to KC, my windshield was hit three times with metal objects flying off of pickup trucks, and I once narrowly avoided being hit by a wheelbarrow. People don't realize how much wind force is hitting them that can carry what they thing are immovable objects off a truck. A tragic accident, my heart goes out to the family.

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walkthehawk 3 years, 4 months ago

TOTALLY agree about people not thinking/realizing about their unsecured objects. We have narrowly avoided (separate) highway collisions with a dresser drawer, a utility ladder, and, the worst, a queen-sized mattress and box spring that was strapped to the top of an SUV and came untethered at the top of a hill. We were in the next lane over and literally had to drive into the ditch to avoid it. Unbelievable. Doesn't sound like this is necessarily the issue with this particular crash, but how many times does it happen that the police never learn where the debris came from. People, if you're hauling things, wise up! Take a moment to test your tie downs, and if you have to, rent an enclosed truck for a few hours and get the job done right. You could save both your stuff and someone else's life.

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gccs14r 3 years, 4 months ago

I rented a couple of pieces of equipment recently and was advised by personnel there that what I rented was heavy enough to not need to be tied down. I tied it down anyway. All loads should be secured.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

There are quite a few "junk" haulers that could use some advice about securing their loads as they make their way to sell their stuff.

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bad_dog 3 years, 4 months ago

It's likely only criminal negligence if there was no effort whatsoever to secure the object that struck the other vehicle.

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skinny 3 years, 4 months ago

Think maybe whoever it was, was headed to the dump on Highway 24?

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devobrun 3 years, 4 months ago

mmmm, no. Not for an eastbound truck on K-10.

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jonas_opines 3 years, 4 months ago

Enjoy your life, because we're always in the shade of death.

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dogsandcats 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh my, how horrible. My condolences.

I have a bit of a phobia about driving behind vehicles that are hauling things, but I never imagined I also need to watch out for the oncoming ones as well. Eek.

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doggymom 3 years, 4 months ago

Umm, LJW doesn't publish the name of the victim but does post the picture of the vehicle hit? Not a good idea.

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Tammy Copp-Barta 3 years, 4 months ago

I thought the same thing .. I'm sure the family could recognize the vehicle and plate on the front. Couldn't that have waited until the family was notified?

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Ray March 3 years, 4 months ago

The SLT is cursed. Didn't anyone watch Poltergeist?

Never build on Sacred Native American land!

(Seriously though...it's sad that it happened. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family.)

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TheStonesSuck 3 years, 4 months ago

Racism, lol. Fine work, sir. Kudos! You're witty and insightful, and not a bad person at all. Who says pathetically searching for the lowest common denominator to illicit a bigoted chuckle is kind of sad? Go forth and feel good about yourself today.

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gutenberg 3 years, 4 months ago

All loads should be secured, preferably with tarp and multiple ropes securing the tarp and load. Make sure to conduct a safety check of your vehicle every time you drive.

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optimist 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm not usually one to call for a law but having had my vehicles damaged several times by material falling to the roadway from construction vehicles it's about time to require loads be tarped and trucks be cleaned off upon entering the roadway. None of my experiences have resulted in injury fortunately but a couple of times the damage was pretty siginificant. While I don't propose criminal liability unless there is absolute and obvious disregard for public safety I think civil liability should hold the potential to be significant when life is lost. This is an absolute waste.

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gccs14r 3 years, 4 months ago

Just have to enforce them. It's easier to sit in an alley with a radar gun, though.

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copperdog007 3 years, 4 months ago

Those Laws are already on the books and have been there for many, many years. It is unfortunate that it is so easy to just throw something in the back of A pickup truck or a trailer, Tie it down and not realize it may have a a loose part that is unsecured. I would call this an accident probably around 50% preventable. Its to bad it happened.

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bigmike 3 years, 4 months ago

Im thinking that the transition from highway to bridge played into this somehow. For some reason k-dot cant seem to build a smooth transition, or fix them when they get bad. This one is really bad!!! The other part of the equation is poeple who dont secure their loads properly, Half the trailers I see getting pulled around this town look like they need to go to the dump with along with all the junk that is on it!!

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BlackVelvet 3 years, 4 months ago

Feel better now that you got that out there? Just gotta bag on the cops every chance we get, don't we....

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Dirtman24 3 years, 4 months ago

Sorry for the loss your in my prayers.

This is one lesson that needs to be really attacked hard. This is why they make covers, tarps to cover things up. I do know its hard to cover big things like a tractor but double checking everything before you hit the road saves lives. I don't haul anything, but I have and including a race car on an open trailer and machinery and scrap metal and double checking makes a huge difference when it comes to safety of others..

I am sure the driver doesn't know as he would of stopped, I am not pointing fingers at him or her either, I just am simply saying double checking your load and parts makes a huge difference..

Sorry for the families loss, your in my prayers

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Jeremiah Jefferson 3 years, 4 months ago

Man that sucks and it should have never happened and it could have been prevented. We need laws that prevent this kind of thing from happening. I can't tell you how many times I have been behind a truck hauling rocks, gravel, and junk in a trailer that has a roll away tarp built in on the side of the trailer that wasn't being used.

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1julie1 3 years, 4 months ago

This is so sad and so tragic. I would like to think that the driver of the truck would have stopped, but I'm not 100 percent sure that they would have.

A week ago Saturday around 11 a.m. I was forced off the bypass near its east end. A neon-green VW beetle crossed the center line in a flash and drove straight at me in my lane. I was going 60 mph (under the speed limit) and was incredibly lucky to be able to get my car to a stop after going in and out of the grass median and back onto the road a number of times.

The VW driver never stopped, never turned around, even though the driver could obviously see that I had gone for the ditch as they drove at me in my lane. It took a while of just sitting there with my heart pounding before I could get back on the road.

This is not my first close encounter on the bypass. I am pretty much finished with driving on it. All it is now is a shortcut to get around part of town and driving on it is just not worth the risk.

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MYOB 3 years, 4 months ago

If you aren't going the speed limit on the bypass then I, for one, am glad you'll no longer be driving it. "All it is now is a shortcut to get around part of town..." Hello? Of course it's a shortcut to get around part of town- hence the name "bypass". It's not a road for leisurely drives in the country, it's a HIGHWAY! If you don't want to drive highway speeds, then take the regular roads through town. You'll be much happier (and safer?) and so will the rest of us that use the bypass as a bypass!

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Stu Clark 3 years, 4 months ago

60 MPH is not highway speed? Where do YOU draw the line?

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Jaminrawk 3 years, 4 months ago

It goes without saying after this story but people really need to find better ways to secure things in the trucks and flat trailers. I see trucks on the highway everyday that seem like they are one good swerve or bump from throwing a bunch of stuff all over the highway. If they don't hit the cars around them, they cause them to swerve at high speeds which is extremely dangerous as well.

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sulliedotcom 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm confused. It was a 'crash'?

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Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 4 months ago

I believe that if you had been involved, that would have been your opinion. And Merriam-Webster Dictionary agrees:

Definition of CRASH (transitive verb) 1a : to break violently and noisily : smash b : to damage (an airplane) in landing 2a : to cause to make a loud noise b : to force (as one's way) through with loud crashing noises 3: to enter or attend without invitation or without paying 4: to move toward aggressively (as in fighting for a rebound) 5: to cause (a computer system, component, or program) to crash

Regardless of the exact definition, this was a tragedy that no one involved will ever forget. I hope that somehow they will all piece their lives together somehow.

Personally, I don't know if I could handle losing a loved one in such a senseless way.

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Melanie Birge 3 years, 4 months ago

This is almost like what happened to me! Oncoming truck, 10lb stones crashing into my Independence Inc Mini Van! Sorry to hear of this tragic accident, we never did catch the guy driving the truck and he caused 1000's of dollers worth of damage! Flatbeds are a DANGER TO US ALL!

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Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow. Look at that picture. Even if whatever-it-was wasn't tied down properly, what a freak accident that it would punch right through the windshield like that, a neat little hole.

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tonytman 3 years, 4 months ago

What about looking at the tapes from the cameras that are on iowa and 31st and 23rd st and so on

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LogicMan 3 years, 4 months ago

Tapes? That's sooooo last century. :-)

If they haven't found the truck, posting pictures of the cleansed projectile here might help someone to identify the source or at least use of the object.

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topeka52 3 years, 4 months ago

A couple years ago, I was driving through Kansas City in heavy traffic. A truck was ahead of another car and then me. A piece of plywood flew over the car in front of me, bounced on the road and came straight into my cars grill, across the hood, breaking out the windshield, over the top and breaking the wind screen on my moon roof. All I could do was try to get over with out causing more problems. Never did find the guy. And yes, new shorts were in order!

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Carol Bowen 3 years, 4 months ago

No one wants to read this. Speed is a problem.

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