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Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blood test shows driver who hit KU student on Tennessee Street was drunk

November 29, 2012

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The driver in an Aug. 26 car accident — in which a Kansas University student from Derby lost both of his legs — registered a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, according to results released by the Lawrence Police Department.

A Ford Explorer driven by Kansas University student Julian M. Kuszmaul, 21, Lawrence, struck and pinned 18-year-old Colby Liston between Kuszmaul's vehicle and another. The vehicle Liston was standing behind was illegally parked in a driving lane of the 1600 block of Tennessee Street.

Test results that Lawrence police recently received showed Kuszmaul had a blood-alcohol level of 0.25 shortly following the accident. The legal limit to drive is 0.08.

An officer responding to the 1:30 a.m. accident “immediately observed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from Kuszmaul’s mouth when he spoke,” and “also observed a strong odor of burnt marijuana from Kuszmaul’s clothing and vehicle,” according to a police report. Though Kuszmaul told officers he slammed on the brakes as he approached the other car, police said they found no skid marks.

Following the accident, both of Liston's legs were amputated above the knee.

Kuszmaul was not arrested after the crash, but police will forward the test results to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley.

The blood alcohol test results for the driver of the vehicle Liston was behind, Dustin A. Erickson, 21, Derby, registered at .02, below Kansas' legal limit of .08.

At the scene, Kuszmaul refused a breathalyzer test, but based on the circumstances of the incident, police were able to obtain blood tests from Kuszmaul involuntarily, McKinley said.

Under state law, a breathalyzer refusal triggers a one-year driver's license suspension, in addition to other sanctions.

A search of Douglas County Court records shows Kuszmaul has received at least five speeding tickets since 2006.

Comments

Water 1 year, 4 months ago

Why no comments about the vehicle illegally parked in the driving lane? Even a sober driver could have slammed into the rear of the parked car.

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MacHeath 1 year, 4 months ago

Sounds like Kuszmaul is going to get what he deserves. I hope Kuszmaul's parents do have money, so Liston can get a good judgement with a civil suit. Besides the fact that he lost two legs, all that medical treatment costs a pile of money. The insurance companies will be after them too.

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rtwngr 1 year, 4 months ago

Careful there, Renaissance. That's all dangerously close to hate speech. You're expecting people to be accountable for their own actions and that's not the way we do things anymore. It's not their fault. It's the white, rich guys of society that are to blame. They are the ones that need to be punished. Not this poor fellow that drank too much and smoked a little reefer.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 4 months ago

Here comes a really judgmental comment from me, BUT, let me wager a guess that the driver's parents were footing his car insurance bill. 5 speed tickets as a 21 year old = insane car insurance premiums. However, if he was on his parents dime, what care did he have? I remember getting my first speeding ticket because that was the day my parents kicked me off their insurance. This is how you learn responsibility. Parents who provide it all offer their child no incentive to ever have to grow up and act in a responsible faahion. When I was a student at KU years ago, I could always tell which kids in class had their tuition bill paid by mom and dad; they were the ones reading the newspapee in the back of the room, or simply not there at all. Those of us who paid our own tuition understood what this opportunity cost and acted accordingly.

4

ascgrown 1 year, 4 months ago

Kuszmaul probably feels terrible about the incident, but maybe he should still get the Nancy Kerrigan treatment. Eye for an Eye and all.

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md 1 year, 4 months ago

jayhawken if you have EVER drank and drove u have no right to judge

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James Minor 1 year, 4 months ago

Legalize marijuana so drivers can be high and drunk. It is sad that someone lost their legs because of some two bit hootch. Wonder how this accident would have been handled in Europe???

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cowboy 1 year, 4 months ago

Isn't alcohol great ? Lawrence's number 1 industry

3

jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

Kuszmaul needs to lose his license for life. That's just for starters. Then he needs to have his wages garnished to the tune of 50%, also for life. Give 90% of that money to the young man who lost his legs and the rest to put up a billboard advertising this tragedy. If just one person sees that billboard and chooses a different path, it will be worth it.

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Liberty275 1 year, 4 months ago

What a horrible situation for everyone. A person has lost their legs and endured incredible pain and another is likely going to prison. My condolences to everyone.

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kansasdaughter 1 year, 4 months ago

Though Kuszmaul told officers he slammed on the brakes as he approached the other car, police said they found no skid marks.

This is why I strongly dislike anti-lock braking systems on cars.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 4 months ago

It is very unfortunate that driving a motor vehicle on the public roads in this country appears to be considered a right, and not a privilege that is earned by the demonstration of the ability to do so safely.

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LJ Whirled 1 year, 4 months ago

0.25 is pretty drunk without adding dope; with it added, that was a really bad choice to drive.

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milehighhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Judge not lest ye be judged?

Not on this online forum!

Here we go...

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