Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2012

59-year-old rural Lawrence man identified as injured driver in semi collision

June 7, 2012, 9:57 a.m. Updated June 7, 2012, 4:21 p.m.


Douglas County Sheriff’s officers Thursday identified a 59-year-old rural Lawrence man as the driver injured Wednesday afternoon when two semitrailers collided south of Lawrence.

Sgt. Steve Lewis, a sheriff’s spokesman, said David L. Guenther was flown by LifeStar helicopter ambulance to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

About 3 p.m. Wednesday, Guenther was driving north on U.S. Highway 59 in a semitrailer hauling water and farm supplies. His vehicle collided with a westbound semitrailer, which was carrying dry concrete mix on County Road 458, or Wells Overlook Road.

Lewis said a preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the westbound vehicle, William R. Powell, 62, of Warsaw, Mo., may not have stopped at a stop sign before entering the intersection. The crash is still under investigation. Powell was driving a vehicle owned by Sutton Trucking Inc. of Archie, Mo.

The crash was in an area of major road construction for expansion of U.S. Highway 59, Lewis said.

Guenther was ejected from his vehicle, owned by Guenther Brothers Farms of rural Lawrence. Lawrence fire officials said Thursday at the scene his injuries were believed to be life-threatening. Lewis said Guenther was conscious and alert when officers first responded.

Bob Hallinan, a KU Hospital spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon due to the hospital’s patient privacy policy he could not disclose Guenther’s condition.


blindrabbit 5 years, 9 months ago

How ironic: Mr. Guenther injured by a apparently faulty driver working on a project that is supposedly designed to prevent this very type of mishap from occurring. Makes you wonder, what type of training and savvy the other driver possessed! Best of luck to all concerned!

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 9 months ago

Know the Guenther brothers, really nice hard working guys, God speed to you David

Randall Uhrich 5 years, 9 months ago

Deadly Hwy 59 is still claiming victims. There needs to be stronger safety measures installed until the construction is finished not only at the site of this accident, but also at the intersection of N 650 Rd (County Road 460) and at the Hwy 56 intersection. I drive Hwy 59 and all of these are still very dangerous intersections. Let's not let them wait until someone else gets killed.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 9 months ago

N 650 is there at the bridge where you dog leg and go uphill, right? Yeah, I've seen a few taking that intersection easily in excess of 65 mph, pretty scary.

My other favorite is where people are tailgating and then decide to pass on a double-yellow stretch. Why even bother, I'm just going to catch up with you at the next stop sign anyhow.

Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 9 months ago

I drive through that intersection twice a day and there really needs to be a temporary stop light installed untill the construction is complete.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

I saw somebody riding a bicycle along that road in the rain one day. I was wondering if they survived since there was barely room for two lanes of cars along the construction area.

Sometimes you wonder why people do the things they do.

John Duval 5 years, 9 months ago

oh from past post about bicycle issues it is their road the semi should have traveled in the oncoming lane to avoid the bicycle ,then manuvered back into the correct lane just to cause a possible headon with oncoming traffic then just to see another semi run a stop sign !WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!!!!

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

My experience, the worst drivers on the road are commercial drivers. Some of those idiots should not only have their licenses revoked, they should be in jail. I've seen some absolutely inexcusable acts. There are a few I'd love to track down.

RoeDapple 5 years, 9 months ago

Aw Jack . . . Most of us strive to be the best! I drove over 1.5 million miles without scratchin' a fender. One driver I know was close to 4 million miles when he retired, and chose to retire rather than let his declining health tarnish his accident free career. I do know where you're coming from though, one in a hundred bad truck drivers can make us all look bad. Nothing quite like seeing 80,000lbs of rolling death swerving down the highway!

A former employer would have me ride with new-hires for a week. If I so much as blinked when asked about their performance on the road they were sent packing. I didn't always feel right about it, some had the potential but chose to take risks.

Richard Ballard 5 years, 9 months ago

I just came back from Eudora on 458 this evening to see what signs were in place.

When I came over the hill going west, I see a new bridge across the road that might give me pause if I were driving a semi truck.

No "Construction Ahead" signs, no "Rumble Strips", no "Highway 59 Ahead" signs, nothing.

The only thing I could see under the new bridge was a little tiny stop sign silhouette in the setting sun, just before going under the new bridge and crossing the highway before a loaded truck could stop.

That right there just ain't right!!

KDOT, or Douglas county, or somebody needs to get out there ASAP and do something with some signage!!


Terry Sexton 5 years, 9 months ago

You have a valid point. For many years there were (and still are) a number of accidents at this intersection because the north/south 59 highway traffic took little notice of it. Then, a few years back, they installed the solar powered flashing caution signs in both directions. They didn't do that on 458, though & I can think of some instances where that might have made a lot of difference. To my layman's eye, it looks like this quality highway project will do away with most of the dangers & I am thankful for it.

frank mcguinness 5 years, 9 months ago

I drive the intersection at 650 and 59 daily and it is hands down one of the most dangerous intersections in Kansas.

classclown 5 years, 9 months ago

Why was Mr. Guenther ejected from the vehicle? Not wearing his seat belt? Makes you wonder, what type of training and savvy he possessed!

John Duval 5 years, 9 months ago

oh don't get me started MR.Gunther had the right of way certain vehicles over a certain weight do not require seat belt usage.P.S.i am just waiting for seat belts on motorcycles and bicycles !!!!!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.