Archive for Friday, August 24, 2012

Motorcyclist and driver in North Lawrence fatality identified

August 24, 2012, 11:07 a.m. Updated August 24, 2012, 2:22 p.m.


Lawrence police on Friday morning identified 43-year-old Steven C. Miller of Linwood as the motorcyclist who died in an accident Thursday morning in North Lawrence.

Sgt. Trent McKinley said Miller died after a car turned left in front of his southbound motorcycle around 8:50 a.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of North Third Street.

McKinley said Thursday that according to preliminary information it appeared the driver of the northbound car, Delores A. Statler, 79, of Lawrence, failed to yield to Miller when she had a flashing yellow light. Statler was turning into the I-70 Business Center.

Miller, who was wearing a helmet, eventually died from his injuries in the crash.

Police identified both drivers Friday morning after they spent Thursday notifying Miller’s family members.

No citations have been issued, and police are expected to eventually send a report to Douglas County prosecutors for review.

“It will take some time for the investigation to be fully completed,” McKinley said.

Police on Thursday had incorrectly reported the ages of Miller and Statler as 44 and 80, respectively.


Crazy_Larry 5 years, 10 months ago

These accidents are happening more and more frequently. How many more must needlessly die before we demand our lawmakers bring tighter controls on these rolling death machines? Condolences to those involved in this tragedy.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 10 months ago

I was being sarcastic. Mimicking the gun control crowds call for more regulation every time a criminal shoots up the place.

johnnyC1987 5 years, 10 months ago

Larry, it's people like you that would allow government to control what I drive. Motorcycles are dangerous - I'm pretty sure every motorcyclist is aware of the increased risk they are taking. Same can be said about tobacco use or consuming high-fructose corn syrup. Do you want to ban cigarettes and soda?

How about you let us all be adults and we'll make our own decisions with our bodies the way we choose. Life is dangerous and banning things won't solve change that fact.

My condolences to both families.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, to get your panties in a wad....I was being sarcastic...Mimicking the gun control crowds call for more regulation every time a criminal shoots up the place. I used to ride a motorbike and still have the endorsement on my license...almost bought a KLR650 not too long ago. Chill out, brah.

John Hamm 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry but Motorcycles are not dangerous. They can be ridden in an unsafe manner but mostly it's automobile drivers who are the most dangerous thing on the road! Automobile drivers don't look, don't think, don't care! "I didn't see him Officer. Besides he was going too fast." (What's wrong with this comment? And it's been said.)

Jean Robart 5 years, 10 months ago

why should motorcyclists be punished for what was obviously an accident caused by the driver of the CAR!

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 10 months ago

See posts above...I was being sarcastic and should have cued everyone in. If you've ever read/red my posts you'll notice most of them are sarcastic. Have a great day!

MarcoPogo 5 years, 10 months ago

One person's response does not mean that everyone else was picking on the driver. In fact, none of the other posts (at this time) even mention the driver specifically.

Your use of the phrase "sanctimonious posters" earns you the distinction of:

Ironic Post of the Day!!!

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 10 months ago

My condolences to the families on both sides.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 10 months ago

Everyone be extra careful out there all the time. Look at least TWICE before you make any decision. Condolence to families involved.

countrygirl 5 years, 10 months ago

And just how does a set of testicles make you a better driver?

Eugehne Normandin 5 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 10 months ago

See my posts above, please. I was being sarcastic! Ha, ha, haaaaa! However, my condolences were sincere.

msezdsit 5 years, 10 months ago

When you have an intersection where one direction has a flashing red and the other a flashing yellow, it is a booby trap inviting confusion and accidents. I don't know that this is the case at this intersection but it was an accident and I don't think this woman's age is a factor as many here are assuming. Thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Miller and his family and friends. Such a sad loss of life.

madman 5 years, 10 months ago

This is horrible for everyone involved. I do know the driver and she is a sweet, wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers go out to all that this impacts.

madman 5 years, 10 months ago

Your comment makes no sense. One, because I think you are assuming she is my mother and I am not even related to her. And two, because you assume I dont think it was unforeseeable. I never said that. I am just saying she is a good person. It is possible for all of us to do horrible things.

Idiosyncratic 5 years, 10 months ago

This was not "forseeable" as the woman is sharp as a tack, has good vision, and I have never heard of her having any driving infractions. She made a mistake regarding how flashing yellow turn signals work. We all make mistakes from time to time when we drive.

Most of our flashing yellow lights give the cross traffic a flashing red light. I am sure you have noticed this, especially after 11 pm or so. However, a flashing yellow turn signal gives the cross traffic a green light. Could that be a problem when a person would normally go through on flashing yellow?

This is horrible for everyone involved, but I would not say that it was "forseeable".

Jean Robart 5 years, 10 months ago

This gentleman was not in any way at fault in this accident. He was making a legal right turn. The 79 year old driver was at fault. Maybe it would be a good idea to either have her test drive every year to renew her license---or yank her license to drive altogether. Renewal every four years is much too long a time for a driver in his/her late 70s.

Jean Robart 5 years, 10 months ago

nope. I learned to drive several years ago, and we were to pay attention to traffic coming at us, and to be especially careful at lights that flash different colors from different directions. In other words, be a defensive driver and pay attention on the3 road.

Jean Robart 5 years, 10 months ago

he was making a right turn into the I70 park--right turn ALWAYS has the right of way over a left turn when there3 is no stop sign, and when there is no three light stoplight.

Armored_One 5 years, 10 months ago

And you know he was executing this turn how, exactly?

Hoots 5 years, 10 months ago

My Father is 82 and I wish the state would make him take some kind of real driving test on a regular basis. He was a great driver years ago but he's terrible and scary now. I can't take his keys away as he's an adult of sound mind. If I could take his keys I would. I wish the state would do a better job of regulating older drivers. If the state told him he couldn't drive anymore then that would be that.. I worry about him hurting someone. His coordination is so much worse than it was 10 years ago. The fact is as you age your eyesight diminishes, your reflexes are slower, and your ability to reason decreases. These are all bad when it comes to operating a 3500 pound vehicle. Some people are sharp longer than others but at some point they become dangerous.

newtongirl 5 years, 10 months ago

Flashing yellow arrows are subconsciously confusing. Most of us know it means we can turn but only after yielding to oncoming traffic. The problem is that the arrows we used to have were always green and always meant we were supposed to just keep going because oncoming traffic had a red light. Arrows meant "go". Now we see an arrow and subconsciously we're used to it telling us to keep going, but now it's flashing yellow at the intersections that used to just have a solid green light...and solid yellow means you can still go but it's about to turn red. So traditionally, both the color yellow and the arrow used to be symbols that told us to hurry up. Most of us do ok with it, but almost every time I'm on 31st and Iowa near Target I see someone either stop completely on the yellow arrow and not go at all (when there's no oncoming traffic) or turn left in front of someone. It's going to take a while for people to get used to it, especially those of us who learned to drive 20+ years before these arrows existed.

Idiosyncratic 5 years, 10 months ago

Drivers should always remember: a flashing yellow arrow means turn with caution because oncoming traffic has a green light.

There is confusion about how the flashing yellow left-turn arrow signal works. Many drivers make the assumption that traffic going the other way has a red light. These drivers assume a yellow flashing light operates the same as a regular solid yellow light: yellow on one side = red on the other side.

It would be interesting to know whether crashes have increased at this intersection since the flashing yellow turn signal was installed!

Another post from a California resident regarding a similar event stated, “I tried to follow the correct rule of the flashing yellow turn signal, and was honked at by the car behind me who assumed I should have proceeded through the light, instead of slowing down and stopping.”

Was there any public education regarding these new lights? Newspaper articles, mailings, etc. Also, when were they installed?

New incoming KU students who are not familiar with our streets generally scare me more than a lady who has driven in this town her whole life, has good vision, and has all her faculties intact. Yes, I am familiar with Delores. I am positive that her age is not a factor! She is as sharp as a tack!

Delores may have not known how the flashing yellow left-turn arrow signal works. I am sure a 79 year old woman may not be rushing home to Goggle "new yellow flashing traffic lights" when she sees one for the first time. I am also certain that she is not ecstatic that this young man is now deceased! Can you possibly imagine what she must be feeling right now? We have all “almost” been there at some point. Please have some empathy as she must be suffering.

May comfort and compassion be with Steven’s grieving family members, friends, and Delores.

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