Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Bicyclist killed in accident on South Lawrence Trafficway identified as 29-year-old Lawrence woman

July 22, 2013


A 29-year-old Lawrence woman killed Sunday evening in an accident on the South Lawrence Trafficway has been identified by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The woman, Hayley M. Berrios, was riding a bicycle east across the trafficway near the stoplight at 27th Street about 8 p.m. when she was struck by a vehicle traveling north on the trafficway, according to the patrol. The vehicle, a 1974 Chevrolet truck, was driven by Walter Spencer, 67, of Lawrence. Spencer was not injured in the accident.

Berrios was declared dead before a helicopter ambulance could reach the scene of the accident. The trafficway was closed between Kasold Drive and the Clinton Parkway exit near the Clinton Lake dam, and traffic was detoured.


mira 4 years, 11 months ago

I wish this wasn't true. Prayers with her family and friends. I was roommates with her for four years.

Clickker 4 years, 11 months ago

I thought the Trafficway went east/west. How did the truck travel north? Was it turning onto the 27th street? Sad situation.

Stop_the_Madness 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry to learn of this tragic event. Biking on the SLT seems dangerous compared to riding on the bike path that will give you a pretty long ride from South Iowa up to 6th street.

royalpain 4 years, 11 months ago

She was CROSSING the SLT at the designated crossing. The habits of drivers at this intersection makes it very unsafe. I'm curious to see who disobeyed the signal - the driver or the cyclist. I use this intersection a lot and see a lot of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians disobey the signals frequently.

Sarah St. John 4 years, 11 months ago

My prayers are with her many friends and family and especially her nearest and dearest, whose anguish I cannot imagine. Hayley was one of the happiest people I ever knew, and after she met her beloved, she was downright radiant (as was he). Their marriage was tragically short. Her friends valued her deeply for all her great qualities and she was a terrific colleague. All who knew her are in shock today. Please respect their raw emotions at this time.

jack22 4 years, 11 months ago

This is so sad. Be careful out there everyone, there are a lot more walkers, joggers, and bikers out there during the Summer and on weekends.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

Terrible situation at that corner, whoever designed that intersection needs to be brain scanned. Firstly, should never have had the Lawrence streets join the SLT that close to two merging streets with a stop sign only 100 feet away, Secondly, there is way too much traffic going in and out of the arboretum/YSL sports complex for such a situation, especially with youth having to cross the SLT there, very confusing. Thirdly, too many drivers traversing the SLT at high speed, not anticipating the need to slow down or stop for a stop light and pedestrians. Fourthly, the arboretum/SLT needs another entrance/exit away from that intersection to alleviate the rush-hour traffic going in and out of those facilities..

mira 4 years, 11 months ago

Please have some respect. Now is not the time for blame. She was a friend of mine. I am in shock as are her friends and family. My thoughts are with her family and friends

SirReal 4 years, 11 months ago

I respect what you say. But now is exactly the time to talk about biker safety and car safety. 4-5 people a year get killed in lawrence, and ignoring the cause and effect won't fix that. I care for this town and I want to be part of the conversation that has a solution. God bless her and her family of course.

blindrabbit 4 years, 11 months ago

ksjay: Same thing happed to me on a couple of occasions downtown, but rather than yelling at the negligent driver, I slapped the fender of the car as it cut me off. This was at low speed, kinda like a bullfighter fending off a bull. Talk about a surprise on the drivers red faces as they hear and react to the loud slap on their car, bet they were more careful the next time

Larry Sturm 4 years, 11 months ago

People disregard to many traffic rules and this is what can happen. Several years ago a driver in front of me and I were stopped at the stoplight when the light turned green and we started out somebody in an old pickup passed us on the right hand shoulder doing at least 60 mph, it could have been a disaster.

farmgal 4 years, 11 months ago

I think there would be less tragedies like this if children, and all people really, were taught that even though the law states that pedestrians have the right of way, they would be better off to assume that in reality, it is best, as a pedestrian or bike rider, to aspect the car to have the right of way. Basically, never cross a street when it says walk, when you see a vehicle barreling toward the intersection. Don't assume they are going to obey the traffic light. Don't assume they are going to stop for you. Don't assume that right on red turners are going to yield to you, etc. etc. Heads up at all times when it comes to 150# people vs. a 2 ton piece of metal.

Erin Graham 4 years, 11 months ago

A pedestrian walkway/overpass is desparately needed there. Especially with SLT development forthcoming. And rumble strips/greater alert of the stop light. The increase in traffic, especially from out of Lawrence who are less familiar with the intersection, plus bikers/joggers/youth athletes just don't mix. Prayers to her friends and family.

dinglesmith 4 years, 11 months ago

This intersection is without question the worst designed in Lawrence. Pedestrians crossing a road with a 65mph speed limit, a very dangerous "T" without enough room when traffic is heavy, tons of kids and their parents in and out of there all the time. Just a horrible design that will be worse when the SLT is finished and carries more traffic.

mom_of_three 4 years, 11 months ago

rumble strips usually indicate a stop sign or a slow down coming into a town. Not sure if it would be helpful since they only have to stop when the light is red. Since it is a family area, a walk way over the road would probably be best.

alex1960 4 years, 11 months ago

First of all, this is not a time for blame. who cares who was at fault? She was one of the most giving, caring human beings I had ever met. She used to babysit my son when he was just a toddler and he is now 14. And she was completely deaf in one ear and I believe partially in the other. That may have played a role but we will never know. A precious life, daughter, newlywed, and friend, was lost. that alone should be our focus.

SirReal 4 years, 11 months ago

I as a biker care about the cause and effect. It is exactly the time to talk about safety issues with cars and bikes in Lawrence. 4-5 people a year get killed riding their bike. If we don't talk about solutions now then when? God bless her and her family. I don't want the same thing to happen to me so I NEED to talk about the cause and effect, with all due respect.

webmocker 4 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps you could pick a forum where something might actually come of your effort, other than upsetting people. The comments section of the LJW is not renowned for its results in the real world.

HutchSaltHawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Every time I am at that intersection on a bicycle, I am reminded of the dangers on not just crossing the SLT in the crosswalk with the WALK signal, but also the lack of consideration given by drivers turning onto 27th street or onto Wakarusa. The phrase used by mom when I was a small child "this is a very dangerous intersection and you need to be very very careful" pops into my head. Last week, an elderly gentleman crossed against the light on his bicycle and my comment to him was "you live dangerously."

While I enjoy the bike path, I have come to the conclusion it was not designed with safety in mind, crossing Kasold at a blind curve, as well as numerous other streets and driveways where drivers may not look for someone on the bike path before proceeding across the bike path.

Be careful out there and ride/walk defensively. Condolences to this family, and hopefully some changes will be made to these intersections and the roadways around the bike path.

whickey19 4 years, 11 months ago

I live on stoneback drive just before you hit the highway. I saw all of the cop cars out there at about 9:40pm. There was about 10 cop cars. I was wondering if there was a bad car wreck. But when I had looked up what was going on and heard it was a car vs bike accident I was in shock. I had liked going over there on my bike to see the beautiful park, but now after this I think it proves how dangerous it can be. I just pray Hayley's family is doing well. It must be very hard for them. I hope they fix something about the cross walk soon. Maybe make it a bridge like some people have suggested. Who knows what will happen. All I suggest people to do before they cross that road is make sure every car has stopped and is paying attention to the road and that they see you. There have been some times where I have came close to seeing drivers go through the light. Also I just let those cars that are turning I normally just wait to see if they turn before I cross. Please everyone be careful out there.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes a pedestrian/cyclist bridge/overpass like device at this intersection is desperately necessary. It is difficult pulling KDOT and City Government within this realm. The cost of such a crossing is pocket change in the big picture. Considering all of the human activity within this area it should be a no brainer.

A pedestrian/cyclist bridge would be in the best interest of the entire community. This suggestion has been put forth several times. An overpass would be excellent use of tax dollars. Or why not a Pinckney style underpass? Unfortunately to make this happen substantial citizen/taxpayer pressure will be necessary.

This situation is difficult.

Hooligan_016 4 years, 11 months ago

Indeed, I keep racking my brain of various intersection designs that would prevent tragedies like this occurring. I just cannot come up with anything simple. The 27th/Waka T-intersection is just completely incompatible with high-speed traffic coming off the SLT.

FlintlockRifle 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey people, how about the pick/up driver , he has to live with this nightmare, no matter who is at fault

SirReal 4 years, 11 months ago

Well when you screw up, you don't get a free pass do you. You wish he could forget his terrible mistake? Actions shouldn't have consequences? You shouldn't pay deep attention EVERY SINGLE time you are on the road?

sickofdummies 4 years, 11 months ago

You sure make a lot of assumption here. We don't yet know who was as fault. There is an equal chance that she was the one at fault here. If he was not at fault, it could have happened to any of us when we get behind a wheel. I'm at that intersection all the time, and I see cyclist cross illegally all the time. The point is, we don't know...

SirReal 4 years, 11 months ago

I am the guy on my bike in Lawrence constantly telling people/strangers to wear a helmet and this is why. God knows I don't want to be right, and bless this poor woman's soul. THIS IS WHY YOU WEAR A HELMET. Anytime I see a bike rider on the street or even on the sidewalk, not wearing a helmet I get a terrible flash of what could happen to that person. It's not fun for me. I care about people, I care about this town. FOR GOD SAKE"S WEAR A HELMET.

And for drivers, I am the guy on my bike flipping you off and cursing at you anytime I get cut off or sneered at and this is exactly the reason why. 4-5 people a year get killed in Lawrence on their bikes. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO TO CHANGE THIS? DO YOU DRIVERS GIVE A DARN? Get off your phone, don't drive drunk, pay attention. Chances are if you're not I am gonna pass you by and get in your face and tell you about why you should change your behavior.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I certainly hope that you follow the appropriate rules and regulations when you bike.

But, if you do, you're in the rather small minority of cyclists, in my experience.

fearthetaliban 4 years, 11 months ago

Life is so fragile. All the best to her husband, her family and her friends

average 4 years, 11 months ago

Should we, in your learned opinion, be allowed to walk even? Only as long as we don't cross any streets? Or is it 'car or nothing'.

Robert Szabo 4 years, 11 months ago

I live near that intersection and consider it very dangerous. I think it should have protected turn lanes and a pedestrian/cycling bridge. It is the only traffic light on the SWT and the drivers don't always stop.

PrayersForSteve 4 years, 11 months ago Please pray for Haley's family and especially her husband, Steve. For many years this caring, loving man prayed and waited patiently for God to bring him the woman who would be his wife. He turned away from all of the temptations of the world to live as purely as humanly possible. His discipline included becoming a black belt in karate to maximize the physical gifts he was blessed with, all with that vision of being the best he could be to be ready for the woman he would someday meet, fall in love with and spend his life with. Haley was the greatest gift from God and Steve cherished her with every fiber of his being. They dreamed of growing old together... but apparently God has chosen a different path. They were husband and wife for just 108-days before Haley was called to Heaven last night. Please hug those you love a bit tighter tonight, and keep Steve in your hearts and prayers. Thank you.

Frank A Janzen 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you very much for your words and the photo.

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