Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

2 teens still in critical condition after accident

November 8, 2011


Two area teenagers remain in critical condition after an early Sunday morning accident at the intersection of 19th and Iowa streets.

About 2:10 a.m. Sunday, Michael Robinson Jr., 17, of Lawrence, was driving a 1997 Acura west on 19th Street and attempted to turn left onto Iowa Street. The vehicle turned in front of a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe headed north on Iowa Street, according to Lawrence police reports.

Robert Spielman, 30, of Oskaloosa, was driving the Tahoe, which had four passengers. Robinson’s vehicle had three passengers.

Robinson was transported by ambulance to a Kansas City area hospital. He was in critical, but stable condition on Monday, according to police reports.

One of Robinson’s passengers, John Teters Jr., 18, of Perry, was taken by air ambulance to a Kansas City-area hospital. He also was listed in critical, but stable condition.

A passenger in Spielman’s vehicle, Casey Kathrens, 27, of Olathe, was transported by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She was treated and released.

No citations have been issued. Police continue to investigate the crash.


Pywacket 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for posting an update. Sounds like maybe everybody will make it, thank goodness! Every parent's nightmare, when you've got teens riding around together. Hope these patients are completely out of the woods soon and heading for total recovery.

Always incredulous when this sort of accident happens at a light. With a delay built in between E/W turning red and N/S turning green, this simply should not happen, but we'll never eliminate human error.

Knowing how many people race to beat a light, only to wind up running it a couple seconds after it has turned red, I never go on green without looking both ways first, but I see others floor it the second the light turns. We all need to drive more defensively.

I hope the police will be able to sort out what happened in this instance. Somebody must have run the light unless there was an equipment malfunction--a possibility we also need to anticipate before we hit the gas pedal.

cheeseburger 6 years, 6 months ago

From the article published Sunday:

Sgt. Kirk Fultz said 'he believed alcohol was a factor in the accident.'

The article didn't state which vehicle's occupants were suspected, but it could have been a contributing factor.

ignatius_j_reilly 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for pointing that out cheeseburger. I was wondering why there wasn't a follow-up on that.

Prayers to all.

KISS 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe that intersection is set to flash red for E/W traffic and flash yellow for N/S traffic during those hours.. If I am correct, then the wb acura failed to yield r-o-w. Those flashing red intersections seem to confuse drivers who are intoxicated, among other traffic control devices...

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

"an equipment malfunction"

That does occur on occasion, but it is very, very rare. I have only seen it once in my life, and that was last year on my drive back from southern California.

It happened in Tucumcari, New Mexico, on the north side, just as you are about to leave town. I was only passing through and did not know my way around town at all, so I do not know the street name. I would have certainly called 911 if I had. In fact, I had been lost in Tucumcari and was glad to have finally found the highway I was looking for.

I was waiting at a red light, and a car was on my left, waiting for the green arrow. Then, the light for me turned green, and the green arrow also turned green for the driver on my left, indicating that he had the right of way to make his left.

So, we both began to proceed, AND the vehicles waiting on the other side, facing us, also began to enter the intersection!

The driver that was making the left in front of oncoming traffic with an indicated green arrow stopped, and so there was not an accident, not at that time anyway.

I had my cell phone with me, but since I could give the 911 dispatcher only the vaguest description of where that light was, I left that responsibility to others.

I drove about ten miles, and then, there it was, a police car headed towards that intersection with lights and siren on, traveling at about 100 miles per hour!

I sure do hope there wasn't an accident there that evening.

IslandBug 6 years, 6 months ago

Very well said, I have made that same comment many times. My prayers continue for all involved and the families.

gatekeeper 6 years, 6 months ago

What was a 17 year old doing out at 2:10 in the morning? Bad parenting at it's finest. There's a reason KIDS shouldn't be out late.

redneck111 6 years, 6 months ago

you shouldnt be judging anyone on their parenting skills.. im sure your not the best parent in the world... no one is perfect

Northsideprincess 6 years, 6 months ago

Both boys were good friends of mine and i was haging out with both of them the night of the accident. They happend to be on their way to where me and my gurl were at when the accident happend.. They were only a few blocks from us when the tahoe hit them. I dont know exactly how it happened but i do know that it was not either boys parents fault. Every teenager goes out and hangs out with friends esspecialy on a Saturday night. This isnt the time to point fingers. Its the time to pray for both boys who r both in very serious condition. I love u both and Ur soilder, yall aint givin up this easily. <3 hrs

theoljhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow, it seems like some people should be home nights, studying their spelling and grammar.

devobrun 6 years, 6 months ago

Princess, I'm sure that ur grmmer and splling are a result of the youse of one of those tiny, teeny, text mchnes called I...smthn, or blackbeard...or whatever. But if u can take a moment and think, tell me: when is a good time to point fingers?

When and how do grownups get through to people like you who don't understand that nothing good happens after midnight.

You and your friends weren't starting a company that would bring jobs to Lawrence. You and your friends weren't finding a cure for cancer, or determining what the nature of the Higgs particle is.

You were jerking around. You were doing what every other fool does at 2:10 in the morning. Your useless behavior is costing society a lot of money. You and your friends should be ashamed for your behavior.

Grow up and be productive citizens who aren't out driving at 2:10 in the morning. Do you work at the hospital? Were you changing shifts at the old-folks home? Did you work late at Nichols Hall on the fading statistics from a C-band radar looking at the earth in a remote sensing experiment? were out partying. You were high. Responsible adults had to clean up your mess. Grow up princess. You are busted.

Cai 6 years, 6 months ago


This blanket statement really bothers me. First, princess didn't say it wasn't the boys' fault, she said it wasn't the fault of the parents.

Second, you OFTEN spend time NOT bringing jobs to lawrence or investigating the higgs-boson particle or cancer. I wont comment on your job, because I don't have enough information. The fact remains that what they were doing may not have been earth shattering or 'important' in that sense, but that's true of most of lawrence (if not all).

You have NO idea whether they were high or not. Given the alcohol comments, you can assume a few things about the partying.

As far as being a productive citizen and being out at 2:30? It happens more than you think. Someone has to be on call to make sure your internet works all night (because if they don't find out about the break until 8am - a 'productive' person's schedule - guess who gets pissy?). Someone has to be watching the cell phone towers. Someone has to be on call for police and firefighters, because god forbid something happen to you. Someone is working the diners that late because it's the only job that was available at the time, and they'd love to leave it.... but wait, you're not making any jobs, so they can't.

Your self importance and blanket stereotyping needs a slap in the face.

Midnight is not the cutoff time for 'productive citizens'.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 6 months ago

I remember quite a few times that it was a terrific accident that I didn't wreck.

familyofinjured 6 years, 6 months ago

Okay devobrun maybe you have an opinon and that is fine but maybe you should keep it to yourself. Regardless of what those boys were doing out at 2:10 in the morning no family deserves to go through what our families are going through. I do not know if you have kids or not but if you do I am sure that they are not completly innocent. Maybe you need to rethink some of the cruel things you posted and realize what we are going through. I can say that if it was your family or your kids you wouldnt appreciate somebody saying stuff like that.

broddie 6 years, 6 months ago

I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure what happened is that the WB Acura misjudged the speed of the Northbound Tahoe. They thought they could make it. I turn left/right on that intersection all the time. Even sober, it's tricky, and I've had many a horn honk at me from behind because they thought I should go for it when I knew that I wouldn't make it or I would be cutting it too close for comfort. If you drive a stick, then you also have gravity against you because of the hill. Although it's obvious that the Acura was at fault, the investigation also needs to take a look at the speed of the northbound Tahoe. They might have been going too fast. Folks, when in doubt, don't go out into that intersection. Wait until it's clear. Better to piss off the impatient driver behind you than to end up in intensive care.

LadyJ 6 years, 6 months ago

And don't you hate it when the car behind you gets right on your bumper at that intersection, not accounting for the fact your car might roll back just a bit when you go?

Machala04 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow, I love how all the people placing blame on here, have never made a mistake and are perfect. I really wish all of us could be just like you. I'm glad you are all tucked into your beds at 8:30pm, since everyone knows there is absolutely no reason to be outside after dark. Accidents happen, even my 7 year old daughter knows accidents happen. If a drink is spilt, she doesn't say, "well so and so left it too close to the edge of the counter", she offers help. If she's mature enough to get over the accident and worry about those involved, you should be too.

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