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Archive for Tuesday, January 3, 2012

5 injured in head-on collision on U.S. Highway 56; highway reopens

Two Overbrook women, a Missouri woman and two Baldwin City children were injured in a head-on crash Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 56 in southwestern Douglas County.

January 3, 2012, 1:13 p.m. Updated January 3, 2012, 5:11 p.m.

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Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical workers and law enforcement officers respond to a head-on crash Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2011 on U.S. Highway 56, west of Worden.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical workers and law enforcement officers respond to a head-on crash Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2011 on U.S. Highway 56, west of Worden.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper inspect the scene of an accident that sent five people to the hospital Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 on Kansas Highway 56.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper inspect the scene of an accident that sent five people to the hospital Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 on Kansas Highway 56.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers investigate the scene of an accident that sent two people to the hospital Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 on Kansas Highway 56.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers investigate the scene of an accident that sent two people to the hospital Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 on Kansas Highway 56.

Two Overbrook women, a Missouri woman and two Baldwin City children were injured in a head-on crash Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 56 in southwestern Douglas County.

Master Trooper Scott White of the Kansas Highway Patrol said the three adults who were traveling in a minivan suffered critical injuries and were flown via separate helicopter ambulances to area hospitals. The two children were passengers in an eastbound pickup truck that was struck by the westbound minivan, White said. The children’s injuries were not as serious, and they were taken by ground ambulance to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

“For an unknown reason, the van went left of center and hit the pickup head on,” White said.

The pickup truck’s driver, Darren S. Othick, 45, of Baldwin City, was not injured.

The crash occurred at 1 p.m. in the 700 block of U.S. Highway 56, which is west of Worden. Division Chief Eve Tolefree, a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical spokeswoman, said the three adults were extricated from the van.

Joann O’Brien, 76, of Overbrook, was the driver of the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. She was taken to Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo. Her two passengers were Jamie Ullery, 47, of Overbrook, and Alice Beatty, 51, Independence, Mo. Ullery and Beatty were both taken to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

The children in the truck were Kara and Caleb Othick, ages 10 and 12.

Everyone in the crash wore their seat belts. White said the cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Both lanes of the highway reopened east of Overbrook by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after the highway was closed for about two hours, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Comments

skinny 2 years, 7 months ago

There are several pictures on www.wibw.com web site

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 7 months ago

It's an amazing testimonial to the safety features of modern automobiles that make head on collisions survivable. No one should ever forget that.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 7 months ago

And the most important aspect of that modern technology is the seatbelt. Buckle up and protect your life. Glad everyone was wearing their seatbelts, or this may have likely been a very sad tragedy.

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 7 months ago

The speed limit on that highway should never have been raised to 60mph. Much of US-56's roadway between Baldwin Junction and US-75 is elevated, almost like a pond dam. Bordering the roadway are steep embankments leading into ravines, and there's virtually no shoulder past the foglines. Anything serious goes wrong -- blowout, deer pops out in front of you, someone crosses the centerline and invades your lane -- you are in deep trouble right now and there's nowhere to escape.

A gusting crosswind was blowing yesterday, too, making things even sketchier for anyone driving through that area who's rolling 60mph in a high-profile vehicle such as a passenger van.

Just glad to read that everyone survived the initial collision. Dad Othick did real good, making sure his kids were strapped in correctly. A lot of parents let this go in hopes of keeping the kids from fussing. He didn't let them make the decision, and he and his kids are alive because of it.

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calebo 2 years, 7 months ago

I am actually one of the children in the accident. The driver fell of the van fell asleep. This was caused by a diabetic reaction. She shouldn't have been driving in the first place. The caretaker was actually in the BACK of the vehicle while she let the 80 year old diabetic with a history of problems DRIVE!! The wind had nothing to do with it. Thanks for the input and all of your thoughts and prayers.

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brbdwire 2 years, 7 months ago

The cause of the accident has not been determined yet and your comments are not based on facts. The 'accident' was an act of God.

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kidbusy 2 years, 7 months ago

I have driven from Baldwin City to Harveyville several times, and have had numerous vehicles cross the center line coming towards me. Having kids in the vehicle with me makes it that much scarier. I am still praying for all involved. Glad to hear the Othick family will be ok. Residents of Baldwin were praying for good news yesterday as the report of the accident spread across town.

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