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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Former Cordley custodian back home after serious bicycle accident

December 29, 2012

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For a man who spent three weeks in intensive care recovering from a skull fracture, retired Cordley custodian Don Varnau, 64, looked pretty good recently at his Lawrence home.

No bandages, bruises, or apparent ill effects were visible less than two months after Varnau was flown by air ambulance to Kansas University Hospital after suffering critical injuries in a Nov. 14 collision with an SUV near 11th and Kentucky streets.

The driver of the SUV that hit Varnau was not ticketed and did not show any signs of impairment, according to police.

Varnau said he doesn't remember much from the accident, and little from the first week in the hospital. He faded in and out of consciousness in those early days.

"That's what they tell me," joked Varnau.

Varnau — who retired from Lawrence Public Schools in 2011 — was released from the hospital earlier this month. He kept in frequent contact with the Lawrence Bicycle Club, giving updates on his health.

He said he's expected to make a full recovery, and admits he's getting a little antsy "taking it easy," per doctor's orders

An avid and experienced bicyclist, Varnau said he's looking forward to riding again soon.

"Just waiting for warmer weather," he said.

Comments

KiferGhost 1 year, 11 months ago

The belief today in Lawrence is if a vehicle technically has the right away there is no reason to heed common sense. The girl run down when she walked out in front of the bus by the motorist passing the bus is an other example. No reason to slow down, in Lawrence the motorist rules.

KiferGhost 1 year, 11 months ago

Oh good, someone stepped up to demonstrate that there really is no understanding of what your responsibility is when behind the wheel. When you are driving, especially on city streets you should always assume the worse and drive accordingly since the motor car is capable of killing people. It is a foreign concept now days but one that would cut down the number of accidents in this town significantly. Again, your right of way does not say you drive the speed limit no matter what is in the road or could be. Instead of cheating at your next license renewal take some time to read what the laws are.

KiferGhost 1 year, 11 months ago

" I'm sure the motorist would have stopped in each case if he/she could have."

And the key here is slow down when you see or better yet, don't see a potential problem. I've seen people speed on by without ever considering the what ifs.

kef104 1 year, 11 months ago

Don, glad to know you are fine. If you read this, know some parts of the old mixer crew are re-leaved. This is nice news to end one year and begin another.

bearded_gnome 1 year, 11 months ago

He said he's expected to make a full recovery, and admits he's getting a little antsy "taking it easy," per doctor's orders

An avid and experienced bicyclist, Varnau said he's looking forward to riding again soon.

"Just waiting for warmer weather," he said.

---Great news. thanks LJW for printing this. I am so glad to know he's doing so much better!

you get back on that bike and keep it up.

pace 1 year, 11 months ago

A good person, glad he is doing better. Recovery takes a lot of work and he is a great worker.

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