Archive for Monday, February 20, 2012

Report: Overbrook woman fell asleep before fatal accident on U.S. Highway 56

February 20, 2012, 1:05 p.m. Updated February 20, 2012, 3:09 p.m.


An Overbrook woman whose vehicle drifted left of the center line in a Jan. 3 fatality crash on U.S. Highway 56 told an investigator she fell asleep while driving, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Master Trooper Scott White has listed “driver inattention” and the fact that the driver, Joann O’Brien, fell asleep as contributing factors to the crash that occurred around 1 p.m. Jan. 3 about nine miles west of Baldwin City, near Worden.

O’Brien, 76, was headed home from Lawrence when her westbound 2006 Dodge Caravan minivan drifted into the eastbound lane and struck a 2008 Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by Darren S. Othick, 42, of Baldwin City.

O’Brien told a trooper in an interview that she fell asleep before a woman in the back seat hollered at her, causing her to wake up and slam on her brakes, but it was too late, the accident report said.

O’Brien has since been treated and released from Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo. A front-seat passenger in the minivan Jamie J. Ullery, 47, died Jan. 18 at Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., from injuries she suffered in the crash, according to the report. O’Brien’s back-seat passenger, Alice Jean Beatty, 51, of Independence, Mo., also was taken to KU Hospital.

Othick has said he received outpatient treatment at a hospital. Othick’s two children in the truck, Caleb, 12, and Kara, 10, were taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and have since been released.

White wrote that troopers would forward the report to Douglas County prosecutors once toxicology test results are complete from a sample taken from O’Brien.


cato_the_elder 6 years, 3 months ago

Editor: Check your headline on this story.

holiday121 6 years, 3 months ago

I see it now! I looked over it & over it & over it.....

Larry Bauerle Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

What problem do you have with the headline or this statement? The driver was not the one who was killed. She fell asleep, which is what she told the officer.

Bruce Elliott 6 years, 3 months ago

FREESTATEFAN, you're obviously still in highschool with a username like that and not attuned to what goes on in the real world yet.

You read way too much into this. (1) 1PM?....Not an unusual time to take naps. Sure, she shouldn't have been driving if she was sleepy. (2) Who cares who owns the car? That has nothing to do with an accident. It obviously wasn't stolen. (3) Grandma had a valid license. That's why she was driving. (4) Why does it matter if the passengers have a valid license? A passenger is not required to have a driver's license. (5) DUI or other felony? Blood work is taken in all major accidents, so if alcohol was involved, it would have been in the papers. A felony? Again, the car wasn't reported stolen and the cops haven't suspected her of robbing a bank or dealing drugs. (6) Fishy? Yeah, Grandma meant to wreck the van and kill her daughter.

Freestatefan, loser to LHSFAN, try not to be so negative and have more of an open mind.

Bruce Elliott 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I would talk that way face to face, but probably not in the tone that this comment shows. It is always easier to write these comments because a person has time to think about it. When having a conversation face to face, some people cannot fire back as easy as others, like myself. but either way I would have corrected this individual and said my peace.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 3 months ago

She could have a sleep disorder. I fell asleep twice at the wheel before I got medical help. Lucky both times. Glad no one got hurt except my car.

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