Archive for Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lawrence officer who died in auto accident had blood-alcohol level three times legal limit

February 28, 2013


A diagram of a Jan. 2 accident that killed Lawrence Police Officer Matthew Klock. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Klock had a blood-alcohol content of .259, three times the state's legal driving limit of .08.

A diagram of a Jan. 2 accident that killed Lawrence Police Officer Matthew Klock. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Klock had a blood-alcohol content of .259, three times the state's legal driving limit of .08.

Related document

KHP report of Klock fatality ( .PDF )

Matthew Edward Klock, 29, an officer with the Lawrence Police Department, died in a single-vehicle accident Jan. 2 in Lawrence.

Matthew Edward Klock, 29, an officer with the Lawrence Police Department, died in a single-vehicle accident Jan. 2 in Lawrence.

An off-duty Lawrence police officer who died in a single-vehicle accident Jan. 2 at the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, according to a report released Thursday by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Matthew E. Klock, 29, died from injuries sustained when his 2012 Nissan Altima was headed east on Sixth Street and struck a metal traffic pole in the median at Wakarusa Drive. The accident occurred about 2 a.m., and Klock, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The highway patrol report states that testing showed Klock's blood-alcohol content was .259. The state's legal driving limit is .08.

According to the report, there were no skid marks on the street and it's still unclear how and why Klock's vehicle drifted left into the median.

Klock, who is from the Derby area, had been a member of the Lawrence police since 2007.

The Lawrence Police Department also received the results of the report and issued a statement thanking the patrol for investigating the accident.

"We are saddened by the loss of Matt and our thoughts continue to be with the Klock family," the statement read. "The community support shown to the Department and the Klock family has been greatly appreciated during this difficult time. We thank the Kansas Highway Patrol, and the other agencies that assisted, for their thorough and professional investigation of the collision."


msezdsit 4 years ago

Never could figure out why information like this must be released posthumously. It doesn't change anything. Just allow Mr. Klock to rest in peace.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

At the very least, it reminds all of us of the real dangers of drinking and driving.

elliottaw 4 years ago

Seriously, so using your logic Fred Phelps is a good representation of all people from Kansas, because he is from Kansas so everyone there must be just like him

MarcoPogo 4 years ago

Logic is being used! Somebody wake up the Dormouse!

Bob Forer 4 years ago

Remember what the dormouse said Feed your head, feed your head

elliottaw 4 years ago

So in your eyes all cops abuse power? You live in a really dark place.

elliottaw 4 years ago

And I quote you here "cops everywhere abuse power"

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

And, also his family and friends. Those of us who have driven drunk or rode with drivers who were drunk should stop at this point and realize that it was just the roll of the cosmic dice that this has never happened to them.


avarom 4 years ago

One important reason to include Alcohol in the drug testing hiring process....especially for the safety of others.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

Problem with testing for alcohol is that it leaves your system very quickly, which is why few companies test for alcohol in the hiring process. If someone is under the influence of alcohol, that fact is usually very easily discernible without chemical testing.

jafs 4 years ago

I find it odd that they say "it's unclear how and why" this happened. It obviously happened because the guy was so drunk.

And, yes, I think it's important that we are all more careful out there - don't drink and drive, folks.

gsxr600 4 years ago

Clearly this story can't change what happened. It's still terrible for the family and all that cared for him, but it's still newsworthy. He was a public servant. As a public servant you are held to a higher standard, especially as a law enforcement officer. On or off-duty events like these will always be publicized because the public has the right to know. We are the ones paying their salary. It's the same way for politicians, heads of local government, and even the lowliest private in the Army. Once you are elected or sign-up for the position, your life is transparent publicly and privately.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 12 months ago

"...and look where that leads you." It leads you to hold yourself to a higher standard if you are an elected official. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Haiku_Cuckoo 4 years ago

They're probably still saying that it was wrong to make assumptions before any toxicology results had been made available.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 12 months ago

You are probably right, generally speaking. I actually did once defend a young man in similar circumstances on this board once. Later, after the tox report showed he was impaired, despite the ironic situation where the sober, fatally wounded driver was the one who made the primary traffic error that caused the accident. Because the young man was not sober, he was still charged with vehicular homicide...a sad outcome for all involved.

cowboy 4 years ago

be curious to know which bar he left prior to the accident

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years ago

I'll bet if he had just been pulled over for being drunk, the "Brotherhood" would have protected him. You can bet, in most cases, there are two sets of rules.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

Depends on who the individual officer might have been. I would assume a certain unknown percentage would protect their buddies. But I am sure that other swouldn't. I think we need to be careful in distinguishing acts of individual officers and the profession as a whole. Saying "all cops are corrupt" is no different than the bigot who claims all _ are ___.

Catalano 4 years ago

Do you think some of the "Brotherhood" weren't with him that night and know the real story, but have been and still are just keeping mum? There's a backstory to this story that we'll never know, and it's really not our business anyway at this point in time.

cowboy 4 years ago

Any slip up and these folks get fired , sorry to burst your bubble.

elliottaw 4 years ago

He lives in a steal bubble, it can not be popped by facts or reality

kansasredlegs 4 years ago

If you're a LPD Officer, you're not telling the truth. If not an officer you don't know what you're talking about. It's called a "personnel matter" and the "slip up" costs you 3-5 days off without pay. Heck, the blue line even follows one into retirement when it's called a "medical emergency" for going OK Corral in your house. LPD Officers only get fired when it can't snuff it out before the public or the LJWorld gets it first.

Matthew Herbert 4 years ago

.259 on a fully-grown man. Wow...that's a lot of drinking

Anthony Mall 4 years ago

The LJ World needs to disable comments on things like this... It's unnecessary, and too many people judge way to quickly... This is just a sad case of a young man making a mistake... Let it go...

gccs14r 4 years ago

A "mistake" is being pulled over for a burned-out tail light and blowing a .08. .259 is seriously pounding the booze and driving afterward is indefensible for anyone, much less a cop.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

But so what? The young man paid the ultimate price for his actions. Time to move on and let the officer rest in peace. No amount of debate can undo this terrible tragedy.

Anthony Mall 3 years, 12 months ago

Wow... Kill??? You need serious help!!! What about the welfare junkies, crack dealers, etc... A better society might happen when judging others and wanting them killed stops and you work on the transportation system in Lawrence!!!

Lisa Medsker 3 years, 12 months ago

The young man DID pay the ultimate price for his actions. Other people in the general vicinity are lucky THEY didn't pay the ultimate price for his actions.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 12 months ago

No can do there, good buddy. Cops are no more immune to public scrutiny and criticism than crackhos, ditchdiggers and dogcatchers. Matter of fact, the tremendous amount of power we let them hold over our heads means we must never, never drop our guard, otherwise, society is weakened to the point we eventually end up like some corrupt third-world country you read about in foreign newspapers.

Jeanne Cunningham 4 years ago

Although the comments here are unlikely to produce any direct effect, the open discussion of the problem of drinking and driving will only ever be addressed and, hopefully, someday corrected by continually shedding light on these cases rather than the historical covering-up. There are just too many cases which have been uncovered that show individuals who have been given diversions over and over and over until they finally kill someone. Too many cases where judges and/or juries have gone easy on a drunk driver, putting themselves in the offender's position and thinking, 'it could have been me," when they should have been putting themselves in the victims's position. Until our society comes to its senses and openly accepts and proclaims that drinking and driving is just completely and totally unacceptable, these sad cases will continue to occur. It does NOT make it any less sad or terrible that this man died because of something that was within his control. In fact, it makes it all the sadder that it was within his control - or possibly the at-least-partial control of someone who knew and saw him get into his car when he clearly should not have done so...

justhavetosayit 4 years ago

My thoughts are with his family. May peace and kindness be with everyone and to all who chose and will choose to post here.

Bob Forer 4 years ago

In a larger sense, I believe there is nothing further any of us can write which will add to what has already been posted today and in earlier stories. Time to move on.

kawrivercrow 3 years, 12 months ago

My condolence to family and colleagues. If he had just smoked weed instead, there is a 99.9% chance he would still be alive.

Matt Schwartz 3 years, 12 months ago

Please find a designated driver and use your seat belts folks.

greenworld 3 years, 12 months ago

3 times the legal limit??? You can be arrested for one beer but that seems like a little high to me.

Anthony Mall 3 years, 12 months ago

Sad... You are sitting here judging a man's life after he has passed, going through bus past with a microscope, acting like none of you have made mistakes, and all the while not one comment about a young student that lost her life yesterday!!! I hope no one ever crawls through your past, judges you on an open forum, and your family and friends never have to read it!!! Every one of you, including the LJWorld should be ashamed and embarrassed... Not one of you posted even ONE thing positive this man did as an officer!!! Your judging him based off an off-duty mistake in which no one else was injured, and he tragically lost his life!!!

lawrencechick 3 years, 12 months ago

Had he gone 6" to the right or left of that pole, there is a good chance an innocent person would have been killed. Perhaps someone coming home from their 2nd shift job. So it is not disrespectful to discuss this at all.

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