Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sheriff’s officers suspect alcohol a factor in fatality accident north of Baldwin

June 26, 2012


Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators suspect a Lawrence man who died in a crash last Friday north of Baldwin City was under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of his vehicle.

According to the accident report released Tuesday, officers believe Jeffrey Scott Walton, 50, was going too fast as he entered a curve as he headed north on County Road 1055 at 6:05 p.m. Friday. He over-corrected after his 1988 Chevrolet Nova went onto the shoulder. As he re-entered the road, his vehicle crossed the center line, skidded sideways across both lanes and collided with a southbound 1996 Honda Accord driven by Kathryn Grace Reed, 32, Lawrence.

The wreck was in an area known as Baldwin Hill.

Walton died from his injuries as medics were preparing to transport him in a helicopter ambulance. Walton’s passenger David Kalb, 49, Lawrence, was flown to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. According to the report, Walton wore a seat belt, and Kalb did not.

Reed, who also wore a seat belt, declined medical treatment but said she would see a doctor later.

Reed had no alcohol in her system. The report says officers noted Walton and Kalb both smelled strongly of alcoholic beverages, and investigators found several containers of alcoholic beverages in and around the vehicle. Blood test results for Walton are still pending as part of his autopsy.

Kalb was listed in critical condition Tuesday at KU Hospital.


fiddleback 5 years, 11 months ago

Last I checked, drinking and driving is shameful. superswagg, perhaps you could try putting these explosive emotions back under a rock until you get some counselling and find something wiser to do with them.

blindrabbit 5 years, 12 months ago

Somebody once said that alcohol and driving sometimes result in bad outcomes!

jhawkinsf 5 years, 12 months ago

The reason to report a story like this, and to do so repeatedly is to impress upon that person who might think about driving under the influence what the potential consequences are if they make that decision. If it causes additional pain to the family, that's unfortunate. But the story needs to be told.

horseshoehalo1 5 years, 12 months ago

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kawrivercrow 5 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 12 months ago

How would you feel about your father, brother, or close friend dying because a drunk driver hit them?

parrothead8 5 years, 12 months ago

So should news organizations refrain from reporting anything that could be construed as sad or evil?

DillonBarnes 5 years, 12 months ago

Here is my take on the situation, and though I can only speak for myself, I think I echo the sentiment of some of the posters here.

No one is happy someone has died. No one is satisfied that alcohol is (probably) responsible for someone's life to be cut short. But, getting behind the wheel of a car was his choice, and it was a stupid one. Calling his choice stupid is not mocking his death. I've had multiple friend involved in alcohol related incidents, and though I still think they are good people, that decision was stupid. People make stupid decisions all the time, but in certain instances, the consequences can be deadly. Alcohol greatly increases the chances that a mistake can be deadly, no only to one's self, but to other individuals. That is why is looked down upon so much, especially versus a minor mistake that inadvertently have dire consequences. The dangers of drunk driving is well known.

So again, I'm not happy someone died. But, if this incident makes someone stop and think twice about getting behind the wheel drunk, there is a silver lining. Let me try to make an analogy. As a gun owner, I am never happy when someone is killed by an accidental discharge. It's tragedy that could have been avoided with some common sense. However, it is those accidents that make me extra careful when handling a firearm. Drunk drivers are people, people who made a stupid decision, and if highlighting that stupid decision can help prevent a future fatality, it's worth it.

riverdrifter 5 years, 12 months ago

The woman who was injured (and lucky she wasn't killed) has a special needs child who counts on her very much. I'm glad she got through this wreck OK.

fiddleback 5 years, 11 months ago

Look, in all likelihood, esp. with a friend of both men suggesting at bottom that “those of us who knew them had a feeling alcohol was involved,” the answer to your question is YES, SOBRIETY MIGHT HAVE MADE WALTON LESS DEAD. It is not detachment that makes us say this; it is simply acknowledging that going too fast around a curve and then over-correcting are actions easily exacerbated by drinking. Admittedly this is speculation based on strong circumstantial evidence, but that does not make it unfair to discuss. Very sorry to hear of your sister’s death in such an accident, Superswagg, but whatever factors in her death and the psychological struggle you’ve since endured seem to have skewed your ability to look at this reasonably. It honestly sounds like some sort of warped hyper-relativism/Stockholm Syndrome. I would strongly recommend counseling.

kawrivercrow 5 years, 12 months ago

I also take issue with the strongly implied assumption of guilt without the obviously necessary lab results before trying the deceased in the court of public opinion.

I understand few people have the real-life experience of being in a high-speed impact (nor have I), but one thing I know is that everything in the car becomes a projectile; tossed around, scattered and shattered like eggs in a bucket. A 12 pack of beer or bottle of liquor, etc.,closed and sitting on the back seat could easy end up spraying the contents everywhere, giving the initial impression of occupants with open containers who reek of alcohol.

It could happen to myself or anybody else who purchases packaged alcohol to go then has a wreck of their own fault or not.

Let's at least remember that circumstantial evidence is usually inadequate grounds for conviction in a legal court even with a thorough evaluation of the evidence, let alone an introductory newsbrief.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 12 months ago

If they were carrying alcohol of any kind in the car with them, it was still illegal...if it is anywhere within reach of the needs to be kept in the trunk...

I would think they may have already done blood alcohol levels on the passenger, and maybe this is one reason why they're so sure about the driver...

Linda Endicott 5 years, 11 months ago

Alcohol cannot be within reach of the driver, whether the container is open or not...

Go try it and see what happens to you if you have an accident...if you don't plan to drink it before you get home, put it in the trunk...much safer...

Why are you being so defensive and belligerent? People should not drink and drive, and if they do, someone might die, including them...are you arguing against that?

kawrivercrow 5 years, 11 months ago

"Alcohol cannot be within reach of the driver, whether the container is open or not.."

Citation please.

costello 5 years, 12 months ago

We tried that once before. It didn't work. Does no one study history? Furthermore we have lots of drug laws, and that's not working too well either.

It's already illegal to drive drunk. That's sufficient, I think.

mdfraz 5 years, 12 months ago

Yes, since some people choose to abuse alcohol and make bad decisions, ban it for EVERYBODY. That makes perfect sense. Welcome to the nanny state.

Nevermind the fact that we tried it before and as others point out, it was basically a disaster with organized crime the only beneficiary. If something COULD be bad, ban it!

kawriver, the odor of non-consumed alcohol and consumed alcohol are usually distinguishable, and the "odor of alcohol" commonly referenced by police almost always refers to consumed alcohol. Of course this is all speculation because presumably none of us were there, but it's not hard to draw certain reasonable conclusions based on what's been reported.

And swagg, no one has really mocked the family. All that's been pointed out is that it appears the deceased made a bad decision, and three people paid a price (not to mention family/friends who are affected). He paid the ultimate price. It's just a fact, and this is a newspaper. To suggest they shouldn't run the story is utterly ridiculous.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 12 months ago

I think superswagg is probably a little too close to this deceased individual and would be best served to avoid online comment forums regarding the incident. Time and time again, people who have too much emotional attachment come here and cannot handle the facts and fictions that are told. I understand that you're looking for an outlet for your emotions, but lashing out at the paper and individuals discussing this tragedy is not going to get your point made or make you feel better in any way.

robertaburnett 5 years, 12 months ago

BOTH OF THE MEN ARE FRIENDS OF MINE. i know for a fact b4 this was even printed those of us who knew them had a feeling alcohol was involved. it is a shame that the media keeeps updating info, but it is there right. and i for one appreciate the knowledge and updates, horrible as they may be, becuse non family members are not allowed to be told anything, last i knew about David, aka double D, he was stable, but as it reads he is still critical. and whether it be family friend or stranger how dare any of you say some of these mean things regarding alcohol being involved, I DO NOT AGREE WITH DRINKING AND DRIVING ONE BIT. but they are still human.

blindrabbit 5 years, 11 months ago

roberta: Your friends, sorry for your loss! However, these individuals are/were human but not acting with the human ability to think about the consequences of drinking and driving. Too bad for them, but thank goodness they did not maim or kill somebody else on their "highway to hell".

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