Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2011

23-year-old Lawrence man identified as victim in fatal motorcycle accident

Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman, discussed the investigation into a two-vehicle accident in which a motorcyclist died the evening of Aug. 31, 2011, on Iowa Street near University Drive.

September 1, 2011


One person dies in van-motorcycle accident

Lawrence fire and medical personnel work the scene of an accident between a motorcycle and another vehicle. One person died at the scene after the Wednesday evening accident near Iowa Street and University Drive, an officer at the scene said. Enlarge video

Lawrence police Thursday afternoon identified a 23-year-old Lawrence man as the motorcyclist who died in a head-on crash Wednesday evening on Iowa Street.

Josh Skipton, who friends said worked at a Lawrence auto dealership, was pronounced dead at the accident scene Wednesday near Iowa Street and University Drive.

Police said Wednesday that officers believe Skipton, who was driving his 2005 Yamaha motorcycle north on Iowa Street, tried to stop in traffic and then went into the southbound lane where he was struck by a van in oncoming traffic.

“After the motorcycle crossed the center line it was struck by a 1996 Ford Econoline van that was traveling southbound on Iowa Street in the inside lane,” said Sgt. Matt Sarna, a police spokesman.

The crash occurred about 6:15 p.m., and it caused one of Lawrence’s busiest streets to be closed for several hours as police investigated the accident.

Sarna on Thursday identified the driver of the van as 55-year-old Mary Barnes of Kansas City, Kan. Barnes and her two passengers were not injured.

“Accident investigators with the Lawrence Police Department’s Traffic Unit are currently reconstructing the scene to determine the circumstances before the accident occurred,” Sarna said. “It is not believed at this time that alcohol was a contributing factor to the accident.”

Friends of Skipton said Thursday they were still dealing with the shock of losing their friend.

“He’s just a great guy. He’s a great friend,” said Lawrence resident Daniel Guebara, who grew up with Skipton in Deerfield, which is near Garden City. “He was always there for anything. He would go through hoops for anybody just so they would be happy.”

Guebara said Skipton was on his way home from work when the accident occurred. The two childhood friends graduated from Garden City Community College together. Skipton had attended Kansas State University and Kansas University, Guebara said, but he had taken time off to concentrate on his salesman job.

Riding his motorcycle had been Skipton’s passion for several years, his friend said.

“He loved to ride his bike all over the place,” Guebara said.

Police asked anyone with information about the accident to call the Lawrence Police Department at 785-832-7650 or Douglas County Crime Stoppers at 785-843-TIPS (8477).


ResQd 6 years, 5 months ago

My sincerest condolences to the friends and family of the victim as well as the driver of the vehicle who struck him. I'm sure the driver of the vehicle is in sorrow as well.

swksgirl 6 years, 5 months ago

Ive know Josh since he was a kid, and he was an amazing kid. This is a huge loss, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the Skipton family.

6 years, 5 months ago

To the Family and Friends of Josh Skipton. I am sorry to hear that he passwd away so suddenly. My thoughts and prayers are with ya'll at this time in need. At least he is no longerr in pain and he is smiling at ya'll form heaven knowing he will see you oneday.

Sharon Aikins 6 years, 5 months ago

Condolences to his family and friends. So sad that he was here for only 23 years.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Skipton. My thoughts and sympathy also go to Ms. Barnes. Over thirty years ago I accidentally struck a pedestrian. It wasn't my fault and he was unharmed but I will never forget how close I came to the same tragic thing. Please remember, this was simply a horrible and tragic accident and no one's fault. I'll keep all of you close tonight.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 5 months ago

This post may get deleted by LJW, but I will point out this is said with compassion and I'm not being flippant/obnoxious.

It wasn't mentioned if Mr. Skipton was wearing a helmet or not. I'm guessing there is a decent chance he wasn't. Some refer to those who decide to go helmetless as organ donors.

It sounds like (from some of the above posts) Mr. Skipton might have been the kind of guy to sign his donor card. I hope he was so that SOMETHING good might come out of this. If so, a small part of Mr. Skipton could live on..... He can be remembered by a final selfless act.

If you insist on riding without a helmet, please sign your organ donor card and make sure your family knows of your wishes to donate.


BlackVelvet 6 years, 5 months ago

He was indeed wearing a helmet. It said so in the original article about this accident. Unfortunately, a helmet isn't much help if you're moving rather fast and hit an oncoming car head on. Very sad.

George_Braziller 6 years, 5 months ago

You don't even have to be moving fast. During a head-on collision the two vehicles moving at only 35 miles per hour have an impact of force of driving into a concrete wall at 70 miles per hour when they hit.

grimpeur 6 years, 5 months ago

Same for if you choose to ride in a car without a helmet. Because there is




that helmets save lives in cars as well as on motorcycles.

Some refer to those who make comments about helmets yet refuse to wear them in their cars as hypocrites. Unless, of course, you think a helmet wouldn't help in a car crash.

I'm not saying you should wear a helmet in the car. That would be condescending. I'm saying that helmet use in cars would save a lot of lives and even more admissions to ERs. Last year there were over half a million car occupants admitted to ERs with traumatic brain injuries. It's a public safety issue. Sure, there are cages and airbags and seatbelts in cars, but there are still half a million people who refused to wear helmets and who ended up in the hospital because they didn't. What do you call them? Idiots? Donors? Unnecessary risk takers?

Ahhh, but motorists and their passengers don't want to wear helmets. Fine. That should be good enough for anyone else, then.

bklonnie 6 years, 5 months ago

What a stupid post.

My condolences to the family. This guy was way too young.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 5 months ago

I'll just say this; when you ride a motorcycle (or any kind of bike mo-ped or scooter) without a helmet there is nothing between your skull and concrete. A car offers thicker protection than even a helmet, but yes I suppose a helmet & car would offer more protection yet.

Or just stay in a padded room and never leave.

Get a donor card, sign it and tell your family anyway! (Be careful not to hurt yourself on the sharp edge of the card as well as the pen!!)

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