Archive for Thursday, January 3, 2013

Investigation into crash that killed Lawrence Police officer could take weeks

January 3, 2013


The investigation into what caused or contributed to a single-vehicle crash that killed an off-duty Lawrence Police officer early Wednesday could take several weeks, according to Lt. Josh Kellerman, spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Officer Matthew Edward Klock, 29, was killed when his personal vehicle hit a traffic signal pole near the intersection of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive around 2:15 a.m., according to the KHP, which is investigating the case.

According to the KHP report, Klock's 2012 Nissan Altima was heading east on Sixth Street when his vehicle went through the intersection at Wakarusa Drive, crossed the center line and struck a light pole in the center median of Sixth Street.

Klock — who was the only person in the vehicle and was dead at the scene — had been a member of the Lawrence department since 2007.

The KHP report says Klock was not wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred. Kellerman said the KHP will have more to release after an autopsy and toxicology reports are complete, but he did not have a time estimate for how long that could take.

Kellerman said he could not say whether or not alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley said the death of Klock — whose family lives in the Derby area — has had a deep effect on the police department and the law enforcement community.

"This is his extended family," McKinley said.


patkindle 5 years, 5 months ago


BlackVelvet 5 years, 5 months ago

And you're just hoping that's the case, aren't you...Your parents must be so proud.

sleepy33 5 years, 5 months ago

Technically, it's a violation of Kansas law to operate a motor vehicle while not wearing a seat belt.

mom_of_three 5 years, 5 months ago

So they should "rant and rave" and then offer condolences? and our "thoughts should be with this family?" really, seriously? since when does someone HAVE to offer condolences when they post on an article?
I posted yesterday what a tragedy this was, but I take a little offense at someone who tells me where my thoughts should be and who i should be thinking about. and FYI, my thoughts are with those who had to work an accident of a co worker. and I do feel awful for those who have lost a family member or friend. I imagine we all do, but just dont put it into words.
And I have lost a dear friend in an auto accident where she was not wearing a seat belt that could have saved her life. So yes, I, too, wonder why anyone doesn't wear one. perhaps it was habit, I dont know.
just had to mention my two cents.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah because there is a ton of "tied up traffic" after 2 am on 6th and Wakarusa.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

Caps Lock button is located to the left of the 'A' key. Press it. As a civil servant, if his death was result of illegal activity, then the public deserves to know.

jw721 5 years, 5 months ago

What a sad thing to happen, my condolences to the family and friends.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 5 months ago

My deepest sympathy to brother Klock's family. I will be praying for you. I lost a family member suddenly and unexpectedly. Nothing helped me but the passage of time. God Bless You.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 5 months ago

My faith tells me that this man who has passed is now with those of his family who have passed before him. Some call it heaven, I don't think it has a name, but people need something as a reference point. The God I believe in is loving and merciful and welcoming to all those who pass on. Which does not mean that those left behind will not grieve the departure of their love one and miss him. As Lynn wrote time has to pass and the grieving have to come to terms with their loss, a very hard thing to do.

It is also time to let his family rest in peace.

teller 5 years, 5 months ago

Very well said. He will be very missed by his friends and family true and blue.

Bouncer 5 years, 5 months ago

All accidents involving deaths are investigated as per the law. And the record is public information. We may find that he was perfectly clean. if that is the case further investigation may be needed. Such as was the Nissan defective. Had he worked a double shift or a whole host of other issues.

Eddie_Haskell 5 years, 5 months ago

Matt arrested me in 2011, I had one other incident involving him, and I had nothing but the utmost respect for this young man. He was kind, respectful, and an officer the LPD and his family should be proud of. I feel overwhelmingly sad about his death.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

Kellerman said he could not say whether or not alcohol was a factor in the accident.

---so reads the article. it means what it says.

police officers do face unique stressors and there are people who are out to get them just because they are officers. theirs is not a profession like auto mechanic or painter.

I can conceive of innocent reasons why he would have been found without his seatbelt on in that accident.

I hope readers will try to give him more benefit of the doubt in the absence of information.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

Why would a POLICE OFFICER (click it or ticket in Kansas, right?) have any "innocent" reason for driving in a 45mph zone without a safety belt, or any zone for that matter?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 5 months ago

Try this on--it's really easy: at 2am, you're tired, so tired you forget to put on your seatbelt, so tired that you drift off the road.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

If you're that tired, you shouldn't be getting into a car. Also, a 2012 Nissan is what he was driving, which undoubtedly has a safety belt sensor and alarm if it isn't in place. Quit making excuses; especially that someone who is "so tired" they miss a seatbelt alarm. Driving exhausted is more dangerous than driving under the influence so what wins?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 5 months ago

So you've never driven while exhausted? You've never heard that little bell going off after starting to drive somewhere without your seatbelt on? You asked for an innocent reason and I gave you the innocent reason, period.

Mike Riner 5 years, 5 months ago

I did not know Matt but feel the sadness that all of LKPD must been feeling now. I wish everyone would just wait for the KHP to complete their investigation before jumping to conclusions. KHP will tell what the evidence shows and will not cover anything up. But please, let's be respectful and not assume what occurred. None of us were there.

dinoman 5 years, 5 months ago

I too am very sorry for the loss his family has suffered. But I am also aware of the fact that because of who he was and where he worked he like all other police officers should be held to a higher standard, they should be a shining example to all, now having said that,,, it does pose several questions, some of which I believe could and should be released. First was he just getting off shift was he speeding... these are simple questions that dont need investigation, and may help us the public be at peace a little bit.... The thing that seems the most unsetteling is why are we still discussing his accident there are very few topics that the LJW deems fit to report yet they saw fit to report the same story twice... no new news.... makes me wonder dosn't it you .... and the fact that it happend at 2 am.... not wearing a seatbelt.... crossed the center line.... hit and damaged cityproperty, that we will have to pay to fix..... all of this within the city limits and last but not least.... I believe the speed limit there shouldn,t allow for a small car by itself on the road to result in a death.... something sounds strange...oh and another thing... isnt the street six lanes wide at that point including the turn lanes....just saying it doesnt add up...... my dad used to say "if it loks like a fish it must be a fish"....well if this was joe blow down the street... they would have no problem telling the public some of the information that the city department is withholding.....fishy ,,,,, just plain fishy..

Matt Schwartz 5 years, 5 months ago

You really are the realest mccoy. For real. No, I really, really mean it. I had no idea . Totally.

kasper 5 years, 5 months ago

totally sucks that people act the way they do. no matter what this dude did he is a human. we all make mistakes. the loss of a friend is difficult enough without a bunch of people acting like they are god. just remember judge and ye shall be judged. no one is better than anyone else.

Eddie_Haskell 5 years, 5 months ago

Dino, you are the coolest. Jump in on On the Street sometime. We have fun there, mostly.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

If investigators find that he was under the influence, what are the repercussions? If an LPD officer endangered other citizens by driving under the influence, then some action will be necessary to address the case. I'd pay a cent higher tax for a year to put breathalizers in LPD personally owned vehicles because they are supposed to be the example setters as public servants. If an officer was driving drunk, then the LPD needs to pay somehow. There is no excuse... at least that's what you'd tell civilians in the same situation.

If it is discovered that he wasn't under the influence, then okay, carry on.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 5 months ago

Uh, yeah. I dislike drunk drivers as much as the next person, but this is the most logically flawed argument I've seen yet... Not to mention the fact that you are jumping the gun a bit. Can't you wait until the body is cold before you start complaining about the LPD?

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

No because people would be all over social media and television telling their friends not to drive drunk and getting all "progressive" (like on gun control after Belcher, or whatever the hot topic is that week depending on the tragedy that surely happened) had it been a civilian. Just saying, I wouldn't trust just anyone with a badge, so officers should be held to a higher standard. No? Well I guess we should just give weapons and the community's well-being to a bunch of schmucks who we don't respect if police officers aren't held to a higher standard.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

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

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

Whatever happened to investigative journalism?

hackman 5 years, 5 months ago

Seems like our community has members with not enough to do . Police officers are human beings and ALL human beings make mistakes, as you all do. Spend more time helping and not hurting. RIP Matt, you will be missed by most.

Hoots 5 years, 5 months ago

Buckle up people. I've been to a number of high performance driving schools over the years and one thing they drove home is that airbags are dangerous if you're not buckled up. It's so sad that one very simple omission took this officer from his loved ones. The accident didn't look all that severe if you saw the scene. If you're not restrained you can slide around or under the airbag.

hackman 5 years, 5 months ago

jayhawks8519 IF it wasn't for the word IF, you'd have a tough time talking. IF that makes sense to you , honk IF that's what you like . IF..IF..IF..

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

See there is something called speculation, which is what is all over these comments, including mine. However, I did post something that proved some of the things I was IF-ing about, but it was taken down because this site didn't break the news first. I said IF because although it looks like a horse and smells like a horse, I'm not going to definitively call it a horse yet because it is all speculation.

jayhawks8519 5 years, 5 months ago

It is obvious that what I wrote hits home hard with you because otherwise you wouldn't be arguing semantics.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

^^superswagg56 10 hours, 51 minutes ago

Again...If it was a private citizen would we give them the benefit of the doubt?

---Superswagg56, I hope so: until more is known for certain. put it in your own circumstances SS56, say you die suddenly, wouldn't you wish others to give you the benefit of any doubt, wouldn't you wish to be judged later by more certain information? wouldn't you wish to be judged in your death by other than prejudices against your particular accident, or your profession?

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

and yes I do expect better from LEO's Superswagg: they've had driving training. they have more expected of them on and off duty.

you will scoff at this, but it is true, the training and selection process does identify strong public servants for our community overall. of course they're human, and the screening and training processes do soetimes fail, but those are the exceptions.

I also expect more from LEO's because of the meaning and history of the badge.

I'm sorry your parents raised you with such poor values.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

^^jayhawks8519 11 hours, 15 minutes ago

Why would a POLICE OFFICER (click it or ticket in Kansas, right?) have any "innocent" reason for driving in a 45mph zone without a safety belt, or any zone for that matter?

---as I've posted before on this topic, I don't want to get into suppositions because I think that'd be wrong.
but it isn't hard to conceive of equipment failure. or, nonalcohol mental impairment due to serious medical conditions, thus he wasn't thinking straight.

one condition I'm particularly familiar with, hypoglycemia, could've resulted in him trying to go get help and not being in his full mental faculties.

but I'm only throwing these out as possibilities to suggest that we must be very considerate of Officer Klock in death in the absence of any definite information.

God grant his family and friends peace as they mourn.

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