Archive for Monday, September 24, 2012

Driver in head-on crash had prior DUIs

Crews work the scene of a head-on collision on the 900 block of Maine Street on Sept. 7, 2012.

Crews work the scene of a head-on collision on the 900 block of Maine Street on Sept. 7, 2012.

September 24, 2012


Shawnee County Jail mugshot of Justin M. Crawford. Police reports indicate that Crawford was driving in the wrong lane, causing a head-on collision Sept. 7 in the 900 block of Maine Street. Crawford, according to the police report, had at least three prior DUI convictions, and alcohol use is suspected in the accident. Toxicology results are pending.

Shawnee County Jail mugshot of Justin M. Crawford. Police reports indicate that Crawford was driving in the wrong lane, causing a head-on collision Sept. 7 in the 900 block of Maine Street. Crawford, according to the police report, had at least three prior DUI convictions, and alcohol use is suspected in the accident. Toxicology results are pending.

Head-on collision on Maine St.

A video of the head-on collision Friday afternoon in the 900 block of Maine Street. Two people were extricated from vehicles, and a total of three people were transported to the hospital. Enlarge video

The man responsible for a head-on collision Sept. 7 near the intersection of Ninth and Maine streets has at least three prior drunken driving convictions, according to a police report about the accident.

Justin M. Crawford, a 39-year-old Lawrence man, ran through the red light at Ninth Street while driving south on Maine at about 2:15 p.m. Crawford’s car then hit another car, driven by Jean M. Drumm, a 67-year-old Lawrence woman. Lin L. Stearns, a 49-year-old Lawrence woman, was in the car with Drumm.

A criminal police report, filed in addition to the accident report, lists “driving under the influence; 4th or subsequent conviction,” under offenses committed during the accident. Aggravated battery, caused by reckless behavior, also is listed.

Crawford hasn’t been charged in Douglas County for either crime, but investigators have sent blood samples to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for substance testing. The process can take several weeks, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley. They’ll wait for results before issuing citations, he said, and evidence will go to the district attorney’s office for consideration of charges.

Both Crawford and Drumm had to be extricated from the cars after the collision, and both were hospitalized.

Witness statements estimated Crawford’s speed as being in excess of 60 mph as he ran through the red light at Ninth Street, according to the accident report. When the collision occurred, Crawford was driving on the wrong side of Maine Street.

“Before I could breathe, it hit me head on,” said Drumm in the accident report.

A criminal background report through the state of Kansas shows two drunken driving convictions for Crawford — one in 1999 in Topeka, as well as one in 2001, also in Topeka. Crawford was also convicted in 1999 of refusing a breath test during a traffic stop in Topeka.

A search through Shawnee County court records shows a 2006 conviction for “DUI: 3rd or subsequent conviction.” Crawford pleaded no contest in that case, and a charge of “Driving wrong direction on one-way road” was dismissed. Crawford served two years probation and paid more than $2,000 in fines in that case.


Bud Stagg 5 years, 1 month ago

Lock him up, throw away the key. A few years of hard labor might sober him up. whatever happened to hard labor?

whatever95 5 years, 1 month ago

I just don't understand why we can't figure a way to stop people that have over 2 DUI's from driving. Do they have to KILL before we pay attention to their danger?

Orwell 5 years, 1 month ago

They do that periodically already – usually instead of actually solving any problems. The DUI risk remains – once someone has had a few, he/she tends to think he/she can drive safely anyway. Not the best circumstances for good decision making.

rtwngr 5 years ago

We don't do hard labor anymore because it lowers the self esteem of the convicted person.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 1 month ago

I guessing that he thought he was driving on a one way street. Obviously he also thought that stop lights and speed limits were merely suggestions.

CHEEZIT 5 years, 1 month ago

Momma always said "Stupid is as stupid does"!

Russell Fryberger 5 years, 1 month ago

Whatever95, you said "that have over 2 DUI's". This issue should be dealt with on the first one. If it's not then we see what the result is, repeat offenders. This guys is probably driving under the influence right now while waiting for "justice".

Cai 5 years ago

I can buy a reprieve/forgiveness for 1. You screwed up, you made a mistake - thankfully the penalty wasn't as bad as it could have been. Plea - pay your fine.

But then learn your GD lesson.

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years, 1 month ago

60 mph on that street? that's ridiculously fast

Currahee 5 years, 1 month ago

After the 4th time, I don't think it's an "accident" but a case of gross stupidity. How does this guy even breathe?

Chris Beilman 5 years, 1 month ago

And the Umpire screams "3 STRIKES YOU'RE OUT !!!!"

gccs14r 5 years, 1 month ago

At least now they require an ignition interlock on a first offense.

midwestmom 5 years ago

I agree! I am grateful for interlocks, but unfortunately it is often circumnavigated - remember the guy this summer who had one (and I think he was a multiple offender, too) who had another adult and young child in his car? Either the adult passenger or the child blew into the device for him so he could drive drunk. Crazy people who thought that was a good idea... Child endangerment charge was either reduced or removed. Until the device can immediately match the DNA of the person who is supposed to be blowing into the interlock with the actual sample, criminals will act like criminals and the rest of us get to be on the road at the same time as they are. Is there a law that could be enforced that is a more serious crime about either tampering or helping to tamper with these devices?!!! If not, why not? Maybe if you go to jail for helping your buddy out - it might stop 'Dumber' from Dumber & Dumber from moving onto 'stupid'... but, then again probably not.

Machala04 5 years ago

Well they actually make interlock devices that take your picture, so when you blow into it, it's obvious who is blowing into it.

otto 5 years ago

So you are saying the ignition will actually turn off, the engine will stall right in the middle of the road for failing a retest?

I doubt it.

Missingit 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm guessing they are waiting for blood results!

brianjay1 5 years ago

The man is still not out of the hospital. He is in bad shape as well. Not able to be taken to jail.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

Yep. Racism is alive and well, even in Lawrence. So is negative stereotyping of both whites and the police. Evidence of the latter is in your post.

Racism and negative stereotyping need to be condemned, wherever it resides. I condemn racism and I hope you will join me in condemning your own comment.

Steve Bunch 5 years ago

Actually a tad more, as his mother was descended from an African slave in 17th-century Virginia. See for details.

Steve Bunch 5 years ago

A tad more than 50% black is what I meant to write.

Steve Bunch 5 years ago

A tad more than 50% black is what I meant to write.

Prairielander 5 years, 1 month ago

Not in any way, shape or form suggesting that this guy should be pardoned or excused. In fact, since I live in this neighborhood, I hope they lock him up for some time. But I wonder how he was determined to be "diving on the wrong side of the road"? You can see in the picture that there is no center lane strip (as with most streets in OWL). Often, the middle of the road is the only driving lane and if cars must pass, then someone yields and pulls towards the curb. Just wondering.

Kari Wempe 5 years ago

Measurements taken during the investigation of the accident.

Jd Finch 5 years, 1 month ago

I'd bring a lawn chair to the public hanging of this human of the week. They still dish out the death penalty for wanton discourtesy and gross negligence, right?

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 1 month ago

A few of you have asked why he wasn't arrested. And here's what police and district attorney tell me: In such cases they wait for official bloods tests. They do this because then they know what charge with. Sometimes it goes from DUI to manslaughter. But if they charge earlier someone can plead quickly and avoid a more serous charge. Shaun Ljw

windjammer 5 years, 1 month ago

Did you not read or understand what Shaun said? "And here's what police and district attorney tell me" Sounds to me as you have your own agenda and your reply had not one thing to do with Shaun's answer. Learn to read!

midwestmom 5 years ago

Not your government? Do you vote? Do you pay taxes? Its your government, too. I don't wear blinders, I'm a patriot. I'm a veteran. I also question the government and don't let rhetoric, lies and distortion make up my mind for me. It is our JOB as CITIZENS to question the government, to vote for the people we think best reflect our Constitution and to vote against those who don't. Take actions. Act in a manner that is representative of the way you want to lead your life. Please don't make generalized threats - it doesn't help and it often alienates those who would otherwise support a person who is actually WORKING for a change.

bad_dog 5 years ago

"your blinders will soon be removed so keep that anger handy."

You're a regular Nostradamus, eh? Not that I'm accusing you of French heritage or anything...

Lisa Medsker 5 years ago

I pick "selective viewing" for 100...

Kari Wempe 5 years ago

If you are so interested in condeming every authority, why don't you call the DA yourself and get the same answer. Rediculous.

beatrice 5 years ago

Did you also notice that one of the vehicles is white??? What about that?

I'm beginning to think that benofthebull is faking his umbrage. Virtually every post of his is this ridiculous, and nobody can be this ridiculous without trying, can they?

On the off chance you aren't a conservative pretending to be upset, please stop. Yes, racism exists and it should be called when it is clear. To just go throwing out accusations with nothing to support your argument, however, makes the real observance of racism harder and more difficult to be taken seriously. I mean, some drunk hits another driver and you bring Obama into it? That is just dumb. Who you planning to win over with such an argument?

kawrivercrow 5 years ago

" read how hate filled all of the responses are to my truths."

Because your posts exude hate-filled sociopathy and it reflects on your character. My guess is that regardless of what race you are, you are a very disturbed individualwho projects a racially-motivated hatred of whites as a defense mechanism to compensate for far-more personal shortcomings.

Good luck with all're going to need it.

beatrice 5 years ago

So you bother to point out what you perceive as racism, but don't care to win people over to the side of preventing future racism? That just doesn't make sense.

maybeso 5 years, 1 month ago

Will he pay for her medical bills and loss of work, rehab, etc?

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years ago

Shaun is the name of the journalist who wrote the article.

Shaun Hittle 5 years ago

Jayhawk_4_Life, Thanks for the clarification...

Shaun Reporter LJW

Topple 5 years ago

Really? No way a person could have an idea of how fast a car is traveling? Never seen a bunch of cars driving similar speeds down a road where you know the speed limit and have a good idea of the speed they're traveling? No clue if a car is going 25 mph or 60 mph?

Jonathan Becker 5 years ago

"The first thing we do is blame all the lawyers." Remember in Henry VI, Part 2, the speaker of that memorable line, Dick the Butcher, wants a revolution, but he backs Jack Cade, whose platform is charitably described as screwy. The Kansas legislature has made a series of compromises in dealing with DUI's. And no one is happy with the compromises selected. Sweden's compromise is a lower level of alcohol for triggering a DUI - .02 as opposed to the .08 in Kansas. Sweden's compromise also triggers harsher penalties if the BAC is above .10, which is called aggravated drunk driving which mandates a mandatory 10 year sentence. For an alcohol level greater than .02, the sentence is two years. The Swedish model has reduced traffic accident fatalities. Perhaps if we pressured the part-time inhabitants of Topeka to consider the Sweden model, we would all be better off.

midwestmom 5 years ago

Can I click thumbs up more than once?!!

Budgets_Smudgets 5 years ago

....but those are European socialists.....

Paul R Getto 5 years ago

They wanted to kill the lawyers so there would be no honorable witnesses to the evil they were planning. This line is often misinterpreted.

Boston_Corbett 5 years ago

Although the article lists Mr. Crawford with a Lawrence address, the tags on his white car above were also from Shawnee County

Jimmy 5 years ago

What an a-hole. I hope this guy gets locked up for a long time.

nlf78 5 years ago

This just sickens me! He needs to be in prison, even if he doesn't go to prison, not having a license doesn't stop people from drinking and driving. The interlock helps, but an alcoholic can find their way around anything, if it may keep them from another drink. Just plain sickens me...

MarcoPogo 5 years ago

Yeah, "not having a license" would surely put the fear of God in this guy and keep him from doing something dangerous. Some people need a little stronger shove.

Andria Platt 5 years ago

I lost someone very close to me in July under similar circumstances. The only thing that might be different is the previous DUI history and, luckily, there were no fatalities. These peoples' guardian angels were watching out for them that day. Hopefully, this driver can be stopped before he causes someone to mourn their loved one like I am doing.

FlintlockRifle 5 years ago

Hard labor still is used in our southern states, lots of bright orange suits along the roads down south, smart people in that part of our country---------

cowboy 5 years ago

Aint alcohol fabulous

While you are all throwing the rope at this this clown there are a half dozen or so more arrested each night in Douglas County. They are given bail immediately and on their way for a few hundred bucks and back at work the next morning. Yeah were real serious about this , sarcasm break.

Wanna have an impact ? Hold them in jail for 24 hours before bond. , make them miss work and have some explaining to do to .

Take their license and take away their rights to purchase alcohol. Require id for all alcohol and if you have been convicted of an alcohol related offense you lose that right / privledge and it is noted on your license or state ID.

Get rid of the local DUI industry i.e. DCCCA , Heartland , and others and just have these folks do all the gardening downtown , on weekends , in jail outfits.

chocolateplease 5 years ago

Is he in jail now? Did he have a valid driver's license? Insurance?

I keep thinking how lucky all the rest of us were to not be in the intersection that day (my condolences to the victims!) and how it could have easily been my young niece, nephew, or even mother there in the intersection, not to mention all the new KU freshmen. It's completely unacceptable that he was even on the road!

Giving this man a car is like handing a blind man a loaded gun and telling him to shoot. He should not be allowed behind a wheel again until he has received help for his alcohol problem, proven himself sober for a great length of time, served his time in jail, and compensated all the victims of his crime to the fullest extent.

oldbaldguy 5 years ago

Actually blame the legislator and the state government. penalities for DUI are not increased because typically any jail time is at the county level. No one in Kansas goes to prison for DUI. They don't have enough space to do it even if they wanted to. I know I am one of the lawyers everyone blames.

Topple 5 years ago

Prison time...and all his possessions liquidated and paid as punitive damages to the victims.

beatrice 5 years ago

You might believe you become more careful with a few drinks, but you don't. Alcohol slows reaction time and there is no getting around the science. If your reaction time is slowed, you are not driving as well as you believe.

Topple 5 years ago

Maybe more actively careful, but the net effect would be a degradation in your ability to operate a vehicle.

gravitykills 5 years ago

I agree... the .08 BAC is ridiculous. A person texting or talking on a cell phone while driving is far more dangerous than a driver with a .08 BAC. And yet, a lot of people who hammer on a dui offender will use a mobile device while driving.

And I'm glad you can actually admit you've driven a vehicle while over .08. Next time you’re in a restaurant, watch how many people leave after a couple drinks and get in their car to drive. You’ll be quite surprised. Is their BAC over .08? Maybe…

I got a dui in 1992 and another in 2009. And there were other occasions when I could have got a dui but I didn't get caught. And yet, a lot of people who may hammer on me probably have driven while over a .08 BAC once, twice, fifty times in their life.

So, to those people, think about your own driving history since you were 15 years old. If you admit that you drove while you were at or over .08, then you and I are really no different. Well, I guess there are three major differences… 1. I got caught. 2. I quit drinking because of my dui’s. And… 3. You still drink!

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