Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Both drivers suspected of drinking in Tennessee Street crash

September 12, 2012


The police report from an Aug. 26 two-vehicle accident that severed the legs of a Kansas University student from Derby states that both drivers involved were suspected of drunken driving by officers on the scene.

Cody Liston, 18, was standing behind a vehicle illegally parked in a driving lane in the 1600 block of Tennessee about 1:30 a.m. when a Ford Explorer driven by KU student Julian M. Kuszmaul, 21, Lawrence, struck and pinned Liston between the two vehicles. Both of Liston’s legs required amputation above the knee following the accident.

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

The driver of the vehicle Liston was behind, Derby resident Dustin A. Erickson, 21, also exhibited signs of alcohol impairment, according to the report. Both Erickson and Kuszmaul were given blood tests for alcohol, and the results are pending.

Neither was arrested at the scene, though Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley said it’s not unusual for police and prosecutors to wait for the test results before filing charges.

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


benofthebull 4 years ago

Smelling of alcohol, driving vehicles and not arrested? These drivers must have been white if anyone of color were in this same spot they most definitely would have been placed in cuffs immediately! Or maybe they gave the cops KU basketball tickets, the world is still a strange place full of biases and prejudices.

somebodynew 4 years ago

While I will not argue that the world is a strange place full of biases and prejudices, you are wrong about the first part. It is, and has been for a long time, that people don't get arrested in situations like this. For one thing, if you read the story closely you see they took blood samples and they have to be processed at the KBI and that takes a little bit. Plus, there are other legal reason for not making the arrests on the spot.

FlintHawk 4 years ago

Highly inappropriate comment. Totally below the belt. Shame on you!

Topple 4 years ago

Oh, here we go. Marijuana explains everything! He was so completely incapacitated because he was smoking marijuana that he couldn't even SEE the vehicle stopped and loading people into the back. Just like that commercial with the guys smoking in a drive-thru and they run the little girl over because they're just so high!

Anti-marijuana propaganda is so ridiculous.

meatheadwisdom 4 years ago

The responding officer “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,”

This one statement translates to anti-marijuana propaganda Topple? Where the first words in the line and previous lines and the title of the artice speak about alcohol? I find it amazing that a report of two allegedly alcohol impaired drivers are involved in TAKING THE LEGS OF ANOTHER YOUNG, COLLEGE STUDENT, is, in your mind, an anti-marajuana campaign. Keep up the good fight...

Topple 4 years ago

I'm saying this is how it starts. I don't smoke marijuana and don't have any dog in the fight. I just think its funny how everything gets spun to make marijuana the devil. Legislature can look back at this and say, "See? Another marijuana-related casualty."

They wouldn't have mentioned the marijuana smell if they didn't think it would matter to people. Uneducated fools will read it and think "oh, marijuana probably played a big part in this accident."

Take_a_letter_Maria 4 years ago

Where does it say they were immediately released? It simply says they haven't yet been charged.

meatheadwisdom 4 years ago

A good point Take_a_letter - They may not have been arrested and jailed, but I'm pretty sure they didn't walk up on scene, jab them with needles, take a blood sample, and allow them to walk off.

I will also agree that prejudices do often come in to play, but no where in this report does it announce the race of anyone involved, so why the automatic assumption that everyone is caucasian?

Topple 4 years ago

Yea, I wouldn't think officers are the ones taking blood samples, especially in the field.

brutus 4 years ago

benofthebull, you related to Leonard Pitts or Jesse Jackson?

MISTERTibbs 4 years ago

Looks like daddy has been busy again.

iiMalibu 4 years ago

The guy was parked in a DRIVING LANE.... that accident would be very difficult for any of us to avoid late at night--even if we're sober! Julian is actually a really intelligent guy (I've been envious of his vocabulary ever since I saw the essays he wrote in the English class we shared 4 years ago). Getting a speeding ticket doesn't mean you're a mad man, it just means you live life on the edge. It's horrible that he happened to encounter someone standing in such a stupid, stupid position on the road. It's too bad people aren't more aware of their surroundings.

Take_a_letter_Maria 4 years ago

The guy was parked in a driving lane, it is something that many of us avoid on a daily basis BECAUSE we are sober, paying attention to our surroundings and driving at a speed reasonable for the conditions.

Driving at a speed reasonable for conditions - that means if it is dark out, we slow down a little. If it is wet out, we slow down a little. If we are driving in a residential area, we slow down a little. If we are driving late at night, in a residential area, with a high volume of traffic (foot and vehicle) and parties going on we slow down A LOT.

" It's too bad people aren't more aware of their surroundings." I agree, because if Julian had been a young man would still have his legs.

Make no mistake about it, there is plenty of blame to be placed on more than just Julian, but his big vocabulary isn't going to be able to explain his lack of decision making this time.

MISTERTibbs 4 years ago

Ahhh, another one that has been baffled by his bulls#!t.

Take_a_letter_Maria 4 years ago

Perhaps he has been buying what JK's been supplying.

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