Archive for Sunday, August 26, 2012

Man critically injured in pedestrian-vehicle accident on Tennessee Street

August 26, 2012, 8:36 a.m. Updated August 26, 2012, 8:39 p.m.


Lawrence police responded about 1:26 a.m. Sunday to an accident involving a pedestrian and two vehicles in the 1600 block of Tennessee.

Police Capt. Bill Cory confirmed that a pedestrian, a non-Lawrence resident, was struck by a vehicle while walking on Tennessee Street. The victim was taken by ambulance to KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., with critical injuries. A helicopter was unable to fly because of weather conditions.

Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman, said the pedestrian is 18 years old and more information regarding the incident, including names and specific circumstances, likely will be released Monday morning.

Blake Albrecht of Olathe was one of the first people to respond to the accident. He said that he was in a house across the street when he heard a loud crash. He went outside, where he saw the victim pinned between two Ford Explorers. The driver of the first vehicle pulled forward unpinning the victim.

"I grabbed a hold of him and tried to keep his head flat," Albrecht said.

It was unclear at the time whether the victim was attempting to enter the back of the first vehicle, or if the vehicle had stopped in the road.

Cory said that it would take a while before the sequence of events was clear because many of the witnesses were intoxicated. There were multiple house parties in the area.

"We had to deal with a large intoxicated crowd," he said.

It was unclear at the time whether occupants of the two vehicles suffered injuries. It was also unclear if alcohol played a role in the accident.


christy kennedy 3 years ago

When something horrendous like this happens, the streets are filled with emergency vehicles and patrol cars of all kinds for blocks in all directions. But when I call 911 when there are literally hundreds of people walking (some staggering, many with drinks in hand) in the streets and in crowds on the sidewalks, and every few minutes somebody jumps into their car or truck and speeds off, weaving around the people in the street, I have been asked, "And you're calling because?" And I have been told that the city is divided up into a grid and that there is one officer, usually busy, for this area. Huge parties go on during certain weeks of the year and in good weather, on weekends, on game days, and everyone at KU and the city knows this. "Buddy" t-shirts and cautioning flyers are great but barely makes a dent. We are used to the noise and the mayhem (for all of you who plan on telling me to move to another neighborhood) but we will never get used to the danger faced by so many young people, some away from home for the first time. The student party areas are known and should be handled differently than some sleepy, residential area. Extra patrols are warranted, at a very minimum. These blocks where parties flow into the streets and fast-moving traffic are continually tragedies waiting to happen.

mytwocents 3 years ago

I have seen tons and tons of police, on foot, in cars all throughout the Oread neighborhood. This isn't about lack of police. We need lighting in the Oread desperately! The 12th Street new crossing on Kentucky & Tennessee is awesome. So well lit. With a crosswalk button to make the light turn on and force cars to stop for pedestrians. Why on earth have these not been installed at every intersection of Kentucky & Tennessee between 9th & 19th?! The sidewalks are terrible. The lighting is absent. Add alcohol to the equation and we're talking disaster. Try walking from Mass St to the 1500 block of Tennessee at 1:45am sober and see if you don't see the problems yourself.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

"force cars to stop for pedestrians."

Force? Really? I wouldn't count on that!

Jean Robart 3 years ago

but this is not the Oread neighborhood.

Beth Ennis 3 years ago

Christy, I agree with you. We love living in this neighborhood, and we don't so much mind the partying (until it is 2am on a weeknight and we have to get up at 5:15am), but hate the mess it leaves behind and the danger it creates. I walked to church today from 16th/Kentucky area. For the 2nd weekend in a row, the house on the NE corner of 16th/Kentucky had a huge party last night and the debris (plastic cups, bottles, cans) was scattered for a block and a half in each direction. Last week they had it picked up by the time I walked home from church, but not so this week. I know that college kids like to party, and that's fine, but since they are adults they also need to learn to be somewhat responsible about it. As to the patrols, Larry, the Oread neighborhood is fairly large. I am certain they aren't getting down to this area and are probably spending more time close to the University.

woodscolt 3 years ago

"These blocks where parties flow into the streets and fast-moving traffic are continually tragedies waiting to happen."

Exactly!!! And every year, it seams, pedestrians are hit by cars in these areas.

cowboy 3 years ago

And we set up lane checks on E. 23rd... And there are still few lights on Kentucky and Tennessee...

Priorities seem to be not disrupting the bar business downtown or these checks would be at 11th and Mass , 6th and Mass , Tennessee and Kentucky simultaneously.

Beth Ennis 3 years ago

Also, I hope this individual recovers completely from what sounds like a horrendous accident. Personally, I don't think getting drunk is worth this kind of result.

mytwocents 3 years ago

on the street last night we were told he was killed, but this report suggests otherwise. i dunno.

Hoots 3 years ago

I was told it was a fatality as well.

justaresident 3 years ago

A friend of mine knows the kid, he lost his legs :/ As of this evening, he is awake and doing well.

LadyJ 3 years ago

I find it ironic that the LJW chose today to also run the story about the new website to connect "bars and barfiles" to the next party.

NickRondo 3 years ago

I was there and before you guys judge me I wasn't drunk at all. I was just in the front yard with my friend, he was on the phone, and the first car pulled up in the right lane of he street and the kid ran to the car and it was the kids mom picking him up from the party. He was trying to put suff in the back of his moms trunk it was locked so he told her to unlock it all happens so fast I dont even know if he ever put what ever he had in the back of the car or not then the 2nd suv came flying in and I think the guy that got hit tried getting out of the way but not in time the guy drilled the car, the driver didn't step on the breaks at all and hit the car and pinned him I guess probably going around 35-40 mph. The guy that got hit was just out cold and for his mom I'm not sure if she was ok or not and I have no clue about the driver that hit them. I really wish I could've stayed and helped there were some kids that were there that said they were emt's and an ambulance was there within sec. I really hope he's ok though.

workinghard 3 years ago

Heartbreaking, I imagine the second car had no idea the first car was stopped which is the reason he didn't brake the car. This happens all the time on up farther on Tennessee St to parked cars. The drivers usually say they didn't realize the car was stopped.

frankfussman 3 years ago

If I stop in the street, I put on the flashing "hazard" lights.

Amelia 3 years ago

His mother WAS NOT even there. His mother and father live in Wichita, Kansas. They got there by the time he was out of surgery. Both legs were amputated just below the knees.

Jayhawk_4_Life 3 years ago

So you just decided to make up some story about his mom being there?

PhilChiles 3 years ago

How about putting up speed bumps every ten feet on Tennessee and Kentucky streets? I'm only half joking there.

Jean Robart 3 years ago

Ah, please don't penalize the year round residents because the students living in the student ghetto don't have the sense God gave a gnat. Speed bumps are NOT necessary.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

With traffic moving fast on Kentucky and Tennessee there is every reason for more street lights on these streets.

Cyclists and pedestrians wear darker colors most often so why not do cyclists,pedestrians and drivers a huge favor. Light up the damn streets and be responsible. Kentucky and Tennessee have so many dark areas.

Furthermore I submit fiscally responsible use for those 1994 sales tax dollars that would benefit many.

Create hike/bike pathways on Tennessee and Kentucky. The right of way is available aka existing sidewalks.

Widen sidewalks on the eastside of each street to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians and light them up. Students generate enough tax dollar revenue to justify the expenditure.

Provide cross walk signs and markings at each intersection from 7th to 19th to increase awareness for drivers. Decrease speed by 5 mph from 7th to 19th

In the process the city is making it safer for women = additional rape prevention.

The investment is small compared to the safety that could be provided. KU students are worth the investment considering the number of jobs they generate and tax dollar revenue they generate. Students bring life and culture to Lawrence,Kansas. Let's keep it that way.

Talia Jael 3 years ago

Judging by the driving I've seen in the past few weeks, I'd say it's too easy to get a license to drive.

Hoots 3 years ago

They don't seem to punish bad driving like they once did in this town. It has gotten to the point that 4 way stops feel like playing Russian Roulette. I wish the police would get back to basics and send a message that if you want to drive like you're the only one on the street there will be a price to pay. I've felt safer driving in third world countries than I do here right now.

jafs 3 years ago

There do seem to be a lot of accidents recently, more than I remember from previous years when the students arrive.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

WRONG! WRONG! The student ghetto is an area where students live. The tenents are not worse than anyone else in town. Some students party a lot, some don't. Can you really judge someones character by what part of town they get drunk in?

MarcoPogo 3 years ago

You never went to the Crosstown Tavern, did you? :)

Sunny Parker 3 years ago

Someone needs to teach all Lawrencians what it means to stop, look both ways, then cross!

ironhead80 3 years ago

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megabear44 3 years ago

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kernal 3 years ago

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ResQd 3 years ago

I use to drive Tennessee Street going south every night home from work and it's a death trap for pedestrians. It is so dark and narrow on that street from 9th street clear to the end. I see shadows sometimes of people walking or running across the street and hold my breath every time. Because of the students back into town, I've decided to change my route. More lighting would help.

tanaumaga 3 years ago

more lighting would help drivers see pedestrians, but pedestrians need to be looking for cars, which in my experience is very easy to do on both Tennessee and Kentucky streets.

LogicMan 3 years ago

Just asking: how can those bars operate in a residential neighborhood? Would it make sense to buy them out someday and to flatten the buildings?

flyin_squirrel 3 years ago

What does this have to do with Neighborhood bars? If we know anything from the story so far, it is the person was being picked up from a party, and was pinned between a parked car and moving car. And the location of this accident is over a block away from the bars, and right next to some greek houses.

Praying for a healthy recovery.

Hoots 3 years ago

They were grandfathered in years ago. These bars all went in before the zoning tightened up. If any of the structures is destroyed over 50 percent of something like that the property reverts to the common zoning in the neighborhood.

Hoots 3 years ago

Yeah, stopping for any length of time in a traffic lane on that street is just asking for trouble. I especially wouldn't do it at night. It's one of the darkest streets in town. People just don't use good judgement sometimes and too often it ends in disaster.

begin60 3 years ago

Very sorry to hear this guy was injured . Best wishes for his recovery.

I was mowed down in a Columbia, MO crosswalk in broad daylight by a coed talking on a cellphone. She's like, "How else can I help you?... that fetching southern and lower Midwestern narrowly smug mindset again--- always so full of self-congratulation and totally blind to the true wishes and needs of anyone else.

It sucks to be a pedestrian in Lawrence. God, I've braved the streets and sidewalks of LO.A. and never felt nearly so unsafe.

DillonBarnes 3 years ago

You can edit your posts now!

Within a certain time frame.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

10 mg of Damital every evening should help.

woodscolt 3 years ago

Recently, I was driving south on Tennessee (of course) and 3 people were walking south on Tennessee taking up almost the entire east bound lane. When I slowed down and passed them, I rolled my window down and told them that if they were new to Lawrence they should know that walking on Tennessee street is very dangerous. They reacted very belligerently towards my comment so I left them with the comment with, Did you come to Lawrence to get a college degree or did you com here to get killed. I assumed they were probably college freshman that weren't yet aware of how dangerous Tennessee and Kentucky can be. Hope they actually do survive their time in Lawrence.

Jean Robart 3 years ago

pretty hard to take up the eastbound lane of Tennessee---it goes north and south

woodscolt 3 years ago

Well, sorry for the typo but I think most people could figure out that there are two lanes southbound which would dictate that one lane is east of the other and one lane is west of the other. Hope that clears it up for those who couldn't figure that out on their own. Ill try to be more clear for those who are somewhat more challenged than others.

Sarah St. John 3 years ago

I'm a mom of an early-20s son and this story horrifies me even more than most news stories have lately, and that's saying a lot. I feel literally sick. If the eyewitness report of NickRondo is correct.... oh, I can't even imagine what would be worse than witnessing something like that. We try to protect them from babyhood onward and then something like this can happen in a second. If the family, especially the mom, is reading this, please know you're in my prayers. My heart is aching for you.

Concerned20 3 years ago

I too was very horrified by this accident. This young man is a close friend of one of my children and has such a bright future ahead of him.

Bon1978 3 years ago

Yes, everyone does have a right to their opinions, and rumors will always be spread in tragic situations. But PLEASE keep in mind "this kid" IS someone's son, grandson, brother, cousin, nephew and friend. Is it too much to ask to be mindful of the grieving families at home for ALL those involved? He is a tremendous student and athlete with a bright future ahead of him, all reasons being why he chose to attend KU and live in Lawrence. Unfortunately accidents do happen and the circumstances around that are irrelevant. Positive thoughts, energy and prayers being sent his way would make much more sense than random gossip, blaming and pointing fingers.

mom_of_three 3 years ago

you are new here, huh. sorry. Those of us who have lived here are frankly not too surprised that an accident happen, and maybe we like to propose new ideas so something like this doesn't happen again. But as long as college students like alcohol and to drive, its gonna happen.

megabear44 3 years ago

That's all find and dandy, but where's the sympathy? I see so many posts where people have brushed past the horror of an accident where one's own son is crushed against their own vehicle and ends up losing his legs. What is it like to live with that? It would eat you every day. People are all arguing and making so many comments without a shred of sympathy that it shocks me to no end. Alcohol or not, this kind of thing (or other random horrors) can happen to anyone of us or our children. I would like to think empathy and sympathy would be the first reaction no matter who it happened to.

mom_of_three 3 years ago

sure, but we don't have to write it in the paper. most of us live here all the time and want to make things safer for ALL of us, including students. just because we dont wear our hearts on our sleeves or in every post doesn't mean we dont think it.

Concerned20 3 years ago

Amen! It is a tragedy that such an aspiring young man has been critically injured. My heart goes out to all the family and friends of this young man as well as all the people involved in the accident and the witnesses. I cannot imagine the struggle ahead of this wonderful family. We can only do what we can to keep our children safe and tragedies happen everyday even to those that are good people.

Jayhawk_4_Life 3 years ago

you don't even know if alcohol was involved in this incident at all.

jafs 3 years ago

Given the description of the event, I'd be extremely surprised to find that it wasn't involved, especially on the part of the driver who didn't stop and hit the kid.

mom_of_three 3 years ago

Perhaps not directly involved in the accident, but its hard to get good witness statements when there were drunk students and parties all around AND THAT was from the article.

kernal 3 years ago

According to another commenter after NickRondo, the kid's parents live in Wichita and his mother was not picking him up. Seem to be conflicting stories by people who were allegedly there, allegedly know the victim and allegedly were sober. Let's just wait and see what the story update is after the police get the blood test of the second driver back, updates LJW and LJW is able to get an update on the victim from the hospital or his parents.

jafs 3 years ago

Circumstances aren't irrelevant if we want to prevent or minimize these sorts of tragedies in the future.

For example, if the stopped driver had put on their hazard lights (if they didn't), the driver who hit them might have been better able to see them, and not hit them.

If alcohol was involved, especially on the part of the driver who hit the kid, that's a very relevant factor.

There are enough accidents in life that really can't be prevented - many of the tragic ones I read about in the Lawrence paper can be, if people pay attention and act responsibly.

jafs 3 years ago

Since I never said that, I fail to see the connection between my post and your comment.

jafs 3 years ago

Another thing I didn't say or mean.

I do mean that people should use better judgement in a variety of ways so that we don't have so many preventable tragedies - is there something about that you disagree with?

Drinking and driving is foolish, as is drinking and wandering around the streets without looking, don't you think?

I would say that the majority of the tragic accidents like this that I read about in the paper are preventable, with good judgement and common sense, and I'd prefer people exercise those, rather than getting maimed and killed unnecessarily.

But, I guess that's not a sentiment you share.

Concerned20 3 years ago

Amen! I am so glad to hear that this young man has a positive outlook on the whole situation!

Evan Ridenour 3 years ago

I agree with a lot of the comments regarding how unsafe that street is in general. It has very low lighting and there is no where near sufficient space between parked vehicles and the flow of traffic. Those two things combined can make it very hard to see pedistrians even if both pedistrians and drivers are acting in a non-negligent manner (which was likely not the case in the accident above).

I think it is time that the city do the right thing and cut down a lot of the trees overhanging the public easement and install sufficient lighting down the entire length of the street. Street parking should also be banned on both sides due to the considerable amount of traffic on that stretch of roadway. The individual harmed in the accident described above may have been acting negligently, and so may the driver, but that stretch of road is dangerous and further steps need to be taken to remedy the known problem.

jafs 3 years ago

I would hate to see the trees cut down, but I agree more lighting might be better.

And, I agree completely about parking.

Brandi Simpson-Glover 3 years ago

this is no surprise at all. I do not like driving the one ways, especially Tennessee Street because people just walk right out in front of cars who have the right of way, without even thinking. they just assume the cars are going to stop for them. so many people get hit walking or on bicycles because they do this......sad

kernal 3 years ago

I've wondered about his water supply.

Kat Christian 3 years ago

Lord help us the Students are back. Every year this happens. Car accidents and someone been hit. I hate driving Tennessee and Kentucky when the weather is warm and the students are back because they just walk right out in the street, even if they see you, even if you are driving 10 mph. or less. Perhaps a class in itself needs to be taught to these kids about how to safety cross the street. They're are not the only ones who live in this town. I try not to drive at night for fear of hitting one of these kids. And Ho-Ha why do we let this town promote party buses, and traveling bars that only encourage drinking - not to mention all the freakin bars in this town. Wonder how many alcoholics come out of this town when or if these kids finish college? I'm becoming insensitized to this now - especially this time of year because I expect it...this is no surprise. What next? Afterall did anyone view the poll asking if folks were looking forward to student's returning because the majority voted NO. Something has to change.

Jayhawk_4_Life 3 years ago

like the university not being here? move to Eudora

KoSho 3 years ago

I grew up with the young man who was critically injured and have been notified of much of his progress. He is a young man of so much strength and courage and his outlook and attitude right now are beyond inspiring. He has the support of an entire community backing him up and we are all rooting for him. He knows that his life is going to be extremely different from now on but he believes this is somehow part of God's plan for him. His first statement after learning of his losses was "there was a double amputy that ran in the Olympics this year." He is determined to overcome this and to do great things with it. He had originally hoped to walk on to the KU track team later this year. However, circumstances have changed. He is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to regain his athleticism and achieve his goals. Continued thoughts and prayers for the family would be greatly appreciated. Please also think about the young man before hastily casting judgement. While the details of the incident may not be clear, the effects are. Please remember that he is an athlete, SON, BROTHER, NEWPHEW, GRANDSON, COUSIN, AND FRIEND to so many people. This is a circumstance that no one deserves and no matter what the details of the accident itself, it is going to be a long road to recovery both physically AND emotionally for this young man. Again, please remember he and his family in your prayers and thoughts. Rooting for #9!

Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years ago

Great post. Let the young man know that there are lots of strangers wishing him a speedy recovery. It will be an adjustment but he sounds like the kind of guy that makes lemonade when he gets lemons. They can take his legs but they can't take his winning attitude.

Concerned20 3 years ago

Amen! So well put. He is a wonderful young man and I am so happy that he has such a positive attitude after such a tragedy. His family and all his friends are in my thoughts and prayers!

Syracuse65 3 years ago

Rock On, #9!! Your hometown is praying for your continued recovery! Keep your head up and your eye on the prize!

mom_of_three 3 years ago

wichita paper has already released his name. sounds like his head is in a good spot.

Clickker 3 years ago

Colby Liston. He was going to be a track athlete at KU this spring, per the Wichita eagle.

woodscolt 3 years ago

Here is a stab at what may have happened. The young man from derby was crossing the street and rather than walking in front of the car, he walked behind it and in the meantime an inattentive driver rear ended the car the man was walking behind. Man , such a sad sad way for this young mans college life to begin. Best of luck in your recovery and life as it now is.

jafs 3 years ago

From what I've read, the stopped driver absolutely should have put on their hazard lights.

And, the second driver should have seen the other car - I strongly suspect alcohol was involved with their failure to do so.

Nobody's perfect, of course, but not everybody runs into stopped cars in front of them either.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years ago

Best post on here. Thank you! Maybe Roe could see Momma some tinfoil so she could make some sort of hat out of her Good Book.

nasto 3 years ago

This whole this is stupid. I was in the car behind the Explorer that hit the kid. The driver was so drunk his friends had to pull him out of the car and set his drunk @$$ on the sidewalk. In the meantime everyone that was in the second car did nothing to help the kid, they all took of running and starting dumping out all their alcoholic drinks in the lawn and girls opened the hatch and started running coolers into a nearby house. I hope the driver gets full convinction for what he did plus some. Whats pathetic is all the drunk college kids that witnessed the whole thing did not every speak up and tell anyone about the amount of booze that came out of the second car, they's rather pull out their phones and video record everything. Should be ashamed that no one would tell the truth about what truely happened when someones life is at stake. The most screwed up thing was that the cops didnt even want to take a statement from us on what we witnessed, great police department there.

Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years ago

Im sure the cops figured out there was alcohol involved pretty quickly, based on your description of the driver. Considering the circumstances, they would be more concerned about the driver's breathalyzer results rather than the kids you saw dumping beer on the grass.

nasto 3 years ago

This whole thing is stupid. I was in the car behind the Explorer that hit the kid. The driver was so drunk his friends had to pull him out of the car and set his drunk @$$ on the sidewalk. In the meantime everyone that was in the second car did nothing to help the kid, they all took of running and starting dumping out all their alcoholic drinks in the lawn and girls opened the hatch and started running coolers into a nearby house. I hope the driver gets full convinction for what he did plus some. Whats pathetic is all the drunk college kids that witnessed the whole thing did not every speak up and tell anyone about the amount of booze that came out of the second car, they's rather pull out their phones and video record everything. Should be ashamed that no one would tell the truth about what truely happened when someones life is at stake. The most screwed up thing was that the cops didnt even want to take a statement from us on what we witnessed, great police department there.

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