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Archive for Friday, September 2, 2011

Two people injured in car accident on U.S. 24-40 near Lawrence Airport

September 2, 2011, 6:46 p.m. Updated September 2, 2011, 7:41 p.m.

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Jim Powers, Lawrence, holds his daughter Sarah, 4, after his wife, Marcia, and daughter swerved to avoid a head-on collision north of Lawrence. At least two people were injured — one critically — after a serious accident on U.S. Highway 24-40 near the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The accident was reported about 6:30 p.m. near mile marker 395 on the highway, between East 1500 and 1600 roads. Two people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Traffic was backed up in both directions Friday evening, with emergency personnel directing motorists through the area. Both vehicles involved in the accident, a white Honda and white Acura passenger vehicle, had come to rest in the ditch on the south side of the road. Additional information regarding the accident and condition of the patients was unavailable Friday night.

Jim Powers, Lawrence, holds his daughter Sarah, 4, after his wife, Marcia, and daughter swerved to avoid a head-on collision north of Lawrence. At least two people were injured — one critically — after a serious accident on U.S. Highway 24-40 near the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The accident was reported about 6:30 p.m. near mile marker 395 on the highway, between East 1500 and 1600 roads. Two people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Traffic was backed up in both directions Friday evening, with emergency personnel directing motorists through the area. Both vehicles involved in the accident, a white Honda and white Acura passenger vehicle, had come to rest in the ditch on the south side of the road. Additional information regarding the accident and condition of the patients was unavailable Friday night.

At least two people are injured — one critically — after a serious accident on U.S. Highway 24-40 near the Lawrence Airport.

The accident was reported about 6:30 p.m. near mile marker 395 on the highway, between East 1500 and 1600 roads. A helicopter ambulance was originally called for to transport the patient in critical condition, but was disregarded minutes later. Two people were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

A witness, Marcia Powers, said she was driving on the highway and swerved to miss a vehicle driving in the wrong lane. Her vehicle ended up in a ditch along the highway, but she was uninjured. However, the oncoming vehicle hit a vehicle traveling behind Powers' in a head-on collision.

Traffic was backed up in both directions Friday evening, with emergency personnel directing motorists through the area. Both vehicles involved in the accident, a white Honda and white Acura passenger vehicle, had come to rest in the ditch on the south side of the road.

Check back to LJWorld.com for updates.

Comments

John Hamm 3 years, 3 months ago

Now I don't normally do this but.... "was disregarded just" this is just plain wrong. I'm sorry for the accident and especially for the poor victims who were hit by a car headed in the wrong direction in their lane.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

In reply to OonlyBonly's comment, in which I think he was referring to an ambulance helicopter being called off, I could make a snotty, rude, and sarcastic statement that said something along the lines of someone inquiring into how much medical insurance the critical patient's car insurance covered, and then discovered that it was for only the minimum required by the state of Kansas (I believe $10,000), which which will cover only part of the cost of an ambulance helicopter ride to Kansas City Medical Center, which is I think in the neighborhood of $35,000. That means, the patient would have to pay $25,000 plus hospital treatment after he got there out of pocket, or else lose everything he had, and then declare bankruptcy.

However, I am sure that was not the case. They don't care if you go bankrupt, they just want you to live.

My opinion as to what most likely occurred was that a professional who knew what he was doing considered several things.

One was that the risk of ambulance helicopter transportation quite high. Ambulance helicopters crash quite often, there is always a significant risk for the patient, never mind the crew. Read the newspapers, it's quite common. The trips are hasty, and helicopters are risky in bad weather. The landing on the rooftop of KC Med is always going to be a significant risk, and if there is gusty winds it's even more so.

Another consideration was probably also given as to which hospital the patient could get to the quickest, and this patient was only minutes away from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, if taken by ground ambulance. The helicopter trip to KC Med would take longer, because first the helicopter has to be prepped for flight and the crew summoned, and then get here. Then, get back to KC Med. That will take a while, since KC Med is so far away.

One more would be which hospital could better treat the patient's injuries. What kind of injuries did the patient have, what procedures would be required for the best treatment, and which hospital could better supply them? But, I think that for severe trauma treatments, especially on the head, there is no choice but KC Med.

And, since I don't know what I'm talking about, there might be other considerations as well, such as perhaps the family would rather their loved one be close to home here in Lawrence, or would they have to go all the way to KC Med to visit?

I think it was a professional who made the decision to call off the ambulance helicopter, and for anyone who did not know exactly what injuries the patient had, had no medical training, and didn't know exactly what services each hospital could supply, should admit that in the patient's best interests, perhaps the correct decision had been made for him to have a less jarring ride to the hospital on the ground, rather than a very risky and quite possibly turbulent flight to a hospital far away that would take longer anyway.

But that's all just a guess.

droppinplates 3 years, 3 months ago

What is KC Med? It's KU Med.....University of Kansas Medical Center

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, never looked that up. I've been busy going there and keeping track of a friend who is now a patient there. That's what we called it.

Oh, and by the way, while we were there, a few helicopter transports arrived.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

1) The exact accident rate seems to be an industry secret. Apparently for good reasons.

But I'm not an idiot about air transport, I am a former employee (# 3) of Kohlman Systems Research, an aviation company here in Lawrence. I've participated in the flight tests of LearJets and a Gulfstream business jet.

http://www.aviationlawmonitor.com/2009/04/articles/helicopters/ntsb-air-ambulances-drag-down-2008-accident-statistics/

Aviation Law Monitor

"NTSB: Air Ambulances Drag Down 2008 Accident Statistics Posted on April 2, 2009 by Mike Danko

Well, that seems to be what the National Transportation Safety Board said today when it commented on the preliminary accident statistics for 2008.

The NTSB's comment:

The 2008 accident statistics reveal a mixed picture. . . We are particularly concerned with the spike in fatalities in on-demand air charter operations. There's a lot of room for improvement in this area, and as evidenced by our recent forum on emergency medical service helicopter accidents, we continue to do everything we can to identify the safety issues involved, and to advocate for the adoption of our recommendations that will make the skies safer."

"Our Translation: "The 2008 accident statistics wouldn't look bad except for all the air ambulance helicopter crashes. We've got some ideas on how to make air ambulance operations safer, but the FAA keeps ignoring us. As usual." "

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

2) http://www.jetwhine.com/2009/02/ems-helicopter-safety-first-do-no-harm/

EMS Helicopter Safety: First, Do No Harm By Scott Spangler on February 26th, 2009

A confirmed rotorhead, I recently invested some unexpected free time looking into the NTSB’s public hearing on Safety of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Operations. I didn’t have the time to watch four days of video available, so I settled for the executive summary in the NTSB’s Special Investigation Report on Emergency Medical Services Operations, which includes four safety recommendations.

JetWhine_NTSB_Most Wanted Now at the top of its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, what attracted the NTSB’s attention were the 41 HEMS crashes, 16 of them with fatal consequences, between January 2002 and January 2005. The report said HEMS flight time grew from 162,000 hours in 1991 to an estimated 300,000 hours in 2005. And so did the accident rate, from 3.53 accidents per 100K to 4.56. Last year was the worst on record. Four of the 35 fatalities perished when an independent medevac helo hit a guy wire on a 734-foot radio tower near Aurora, Illinois, one VFR night last October. The patient was 13 months old. The company suffered its first fatal accident in 2003, and this one put it out of business.

http://www.helicoptercrashes.com/air-ambulance-crash/necessity-of-ems-helicopter-transports-09092008

Today, there are 750 to 800 air ambulances flying the skies. They are given special permission to fly into bad weather and night conditions, they “heroically” attempt dangerous maneuvers that increase safety risks for crew and patients, and, perhaps worst of all, the industry as a whole is one of the least-regulated in U.S. aviation.

This and a whole list of other factors are adding up to disastrous results. From 2000 to July 2005, there were 84 EMS helicopter crashes killing 60 people. According to those numbers, between 10% and 15% of all EMS helicopters nationwide crashed in less than five years.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

There is the issue of the cost of ambulance helicopter transport. I was under the impression that it costs much more than it actually does.

I noticed that the cost of the average ambulance helicopter trip is only about $12,000. But, Kansas only requires $10,000 for the medical portion of your car insurance. So, unless you have extra coverage, you're going to have to pay out of pocket if you're transported that way. And then, your hospital bill won't be covered at all, since you used up all your insurance just to get to the hospital.

And, many or most health insurance policies decide after the fact whether it was necessary or not. And I'm sure they usually decide it was not so they won't have to pay.

Personally? I would never want to go to the hospital in one. The crews on ground ambulances are well trained, and unless there is a severe trauma that requires a certain hospital, I really don't see the need.

Although personally I am well covered for the cost of ambulance helicopter transport on my car insurance policy, in case it is ever needed.

I made sure of that years ago.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

"their was"?

Do you remember the time you suggested to me that I should take a course in English?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

"transportation quite high."

I messed up too!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

There have been so many complete and total tragedies in the news just in the last two weeks that I'm overwhelmed. It's just to much.

Plus, my father and a very close friend are in stage 4 cancer (doing good, they say, but,,,), and another close friend had a quad heart bypass go bad a few days ago at KU Med (notice I got it right, droppinplates?).

I'm keeping myself busy by posting in here, I guess. It's taking my mind off things.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Plus I'm in my own little private and personal Hell, and I don't want to think about that. The problem is, I can't quit thinking about it unless I am very busy.

When I'm busy thinking and writing and typing, I can escape for a moment.

redmoonrising 3 years, 3 months ago

We've all had our personal tragedies unless we're very young or very lucky. Hope you find you way out of your hell. Now's the time to try some personal writing, examine your life in words and then, especially if it is depressing, delete it and start over...and over...and over.

KEITHMILES05 3 years, 3 months ago

You are correct in what you say. However, Topeka has a trauma center and is equipped for severe head injuries and is closer to go to in the most severe and urgent matters.

babygirl88 3 years, 3 months ago

Thoughts and prayers go to all involved. According to Scanner Traffic, At the time of this accident there was only one medical Helicopter available and It's Estimated Time Of Arrival to the Accident was 30 minutes So, that may be the reason it was called off, or it could be due to something else as well.

blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

Based on the vehicular carnage that has been occurring around Lawrence lately, maybe we need to acquire a copter for county use only. I'd locate it somewhere out on the Eudora flats so rapid access to the K-10 mayhem.

akt2 3 years, 3 months ago

They do plenty of air transports out of the LMH ER also. The patient could be taken there, stabilized and then tranferred out either by air or ground, depending on the patient's condition.

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