Douglas County prosecutors have not completed their review of an Oct. 8 all-terrain vehicle accident near Baldwin City that killed a 21-year-old Lawrence man.
“We’ve asked for clarification from the sheriff’s office on a couple of issues,” District Attorney Charles Branson said Wednesday.
According to a Douglas Count sheriff’s report, Derek Richard Cook, 23, was the driver of a 2004 Polaris Ranger ATV when it crashed about 2 a.m. in a field northwest of the intersection of North 500 and East 2300 roads. The body of passenger Preston Scheibler, a 2008 Lawrence High graduate, was discovered about six hours later by a sheriff’s deputy. The report does not say Cook was with the vehicle when Scheibler’s body was discovered.
A preliminary autopsy report lists mechanical asphyxiation as Scheibler’s cause of death, and Branson said a final review in the case would depend on the completed autopsy.
Cook was not given an impairment test that was listed in the accident report, but officers did open a separate investigative report to send to Branson’s office. The preliminary autopsy report indicated Scheibler had alcohol in his system.
Branson said no traffic infractions would apply in the case because the crash occurred on private property, but he said that generally in these types of cases prosecutors try to determine if anything rose to a “criminal level.”
The rural accident site is about 10 miles south of Eudora or about nine miles northeast of Baldwin City.