Archive for Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fatal ATV accident still under review

November 3, 2011


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.


chargeit 6 years, 4 months ago

The stigma of a substance related incident esclates the fear of reprocussions to the point good friends are pushed to make decisions (however poor) regarding a person's condition or health state vs criminal and civil penalties. Sad that special interests pushing an agenda of prohibition and revenge with extreme alcohol penalties created this situation.

Branson's statement of "no traffic infractions" is a cop out since he could not build enough evidence of intoxication level. KS DUI law does not distinguish between private and public property and there are numerous cases of DUI on private property. You can bet if the buddies had gone directly to authorities the story would read much differently with Branson's aggressive alcohol stance.

A person can be reckless which results in injury or fatality will limited penalties but add a substance and current law deems it premeditated with much harsher penalties. Mark one for stiffer substance penalties killing a person. I feel bad for his buddies that were forced to make such a decision, in today's society we are all just a slip away from a good time with friends turning into this situation.
May they feel remorse and the family see forgiveness.

TruthReigns 6 years, 4 months ago

Why was there a lapse in time between the accident and the reporting of the accident and was there enough time in between the accident and the reporting to prevent the death if the report had been made earlier? I have you have answers?

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