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Semi truck crashes into roundabout on George Williams Way June 24, 2011

A semi truck tangled with a roundabout at George Williams Way and Diamondhead Drive near Langston Hughes School Friday, June 24, 2011. No one was injured in the accident.

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blindrabbit 6 years, 11 months ago

Leave it un-repaired as a monument to it's fallacy! The one on West Clinton Parkway has still not been repaired; a couple of months after a speeder tried a Evel Knievel jump over it after a few toddies. The one (traffic circle) at the West Lawrence Turnpike entrance/exit would be a candidate for a major wipe-out.

Kent Fisher 6 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. If the city chooses to build them, then they should anticipate having to repair them, too. Now they are even bigger eyesores. Please get these fixed.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

First the city needs to collect the money for the damages from the driver at fault's insurance company.

LadyJ 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually they were fixing it about 8:30 this morning,

Kent Fisher 6 years, 11 months ago

The city still hasn't repaired several neighborhood roundabouts including Stoneridge Drive.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

"The one (traffic circle) at the West Lawrence Turnpike entrance/exit would be a candidate for a major wipe-out."

The advantage of a wipe out in a round-a-bout is that only the driver who couldn't keep his car on the road (and his passengers) are the ones to suffer the consequences. It's just another curve in the road. Of course, there are always some drivers who have trouble navigating curves, and they certainly need to be taken off the road.

Or in the case of a multi-vehicle accident, if the right side of your vehicle is damaged it wasn't your fault, and if the left hand side of your vehicle is damaged it was your fault, and your insurance company needs to pay for all the damages, as well as all the medical bills if there are any. No more police time or investigation is necessary.

Serious injuries in accidents on round-a-bouts are just about unknown, unlike broadside accidents which very commonly result in serious injuries or deaths. Plus there is always that problem at four way stops of determining fault. That is not an exact science.

And, no one needs to completely stop at the interchange, and thus traffic flows much more swiftly.

Those are the advantages of round-a-bouts, of which the first example of which was constructed in 1909 in the United Kingdom. They have been successfully used ever since.

The only disadvantage is that some drivers don't understand them, just as some people had a lot of trouble navigating the cloverleaf intersections on the Interstates when they were first introduced in the United States.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, I was wondering how he managed to get that far up on it. I wonder if he realized he was going to hit it and just figured he'd try and go over it.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Maybe he thought he was driving deadhead, which is a trucker's term for driving a cab without a trailer. In that case, he would have had no problem.

Kontum1972 6 years, 11 months ago

and what happens when someone is finally killed on one of these circles..?

r_san 6 years, 11 months ago

There was a man on a motorcycle killed at the one on Clinton Parkway out by the lake.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Serious injuries in accidents on round-a-bouts are just about unknown, and people are killed at four way stops very often. In fact, there was a fatality at the four way stop at Baldwin Junction just within the last week.

It is true that there are consequences if you try to fly at incredible speed straight through one. But at least you won't hurt anyone else.

Kontum1972 6 years, 11 months ago

lets see.....u got k-10 and u got these circles......hmmmmmmmmm...hmmmmmmmm..what is the solution?....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........

gphawk89 6 years, 11 months ago

Had to be a rookie truck driver, although even a rookie should have been trained how to do this correctly. Or an experienced one that thought he could get away with driving over the inside of the circle. Honestly, it looks like someone plain forgot they were towing a huge trailer.

bevy 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm shocked to my foundations......NOT!! What's a truck this size doing there anyhow? Shouldn't he be on K-10?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Local deliveries are allowed. For example: Local deliveries, and household moving trucks when someone is moving into town.

isoscelesnewton 6 years, 11 months ago

I became a begrudging fan of roundabouts when they posted the video of the difference in traffic flow at the intersection of 19th and Barker from before and after. The flow of traffic sped up quite a bit after the roundabout was added.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

That's for sure. The only disadvantage I've ever noticed is that occasionally someone is stuck on the "driver on the right has the right of way" concept, which does not apply to round-a-bouts, and either stop completely while they are on one, or pull into one thinking they have the right of way because they are on the right.

But, as they become more common those won't be problems any more.

I like to be able to adjust my speed to match for safetly, and then zip right through without having to stop.

And, about that particular intersection, I sure do remember waiting for very long periods of time to get through it.

Sue McDaniel 6 years, 11 months ago

You will not convince me that a STOP sign is BETTER & CHEAPER!!!!!!

Terry Sexton 6 years, 11 months ago

i do not think that is what you meant to say.

Munsoned 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, but have you priced stop signs? HA

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

"a STOP sign is better & cheaper"

That's not true if you count wasted time waiting to get through the intersection, damage to the vehicles, and the resulting injuries over the years.

Hospital bills in particular are very expensive.

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

Hey Trucker! How's that traffic calmer workin' for ya?

Ken Miller 6 years, 11 months ago

Charge the McLeod Company of Decatur Il. for roundabout repairs and let them take it out of the knucklehead driver's paycheck.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't think he's going to be getting a paycheck from them anymore.

CreatureComforts 6 years, 11 months ago

Just because the trailer is from McLeod does not mean the driver or cab are from McLeod...unless you see something from those two photos that I don't.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 11 months ago

Pretty Good Trick. Preliminary scores came in at 5.8, 5.8, 5.7 & 5.8. Not as high as the 5.9's across the board for flipping the McGrew truck, but a solid score nonetheless. He should move on to the second round.

LadyJ 6 years, 11 months ago

The way the headline and story is worded, it says he crashed into it and it was an accident, not that he got stuck trying to go around it. That seems to imply he didn't know it was there and wasn't trying to go around it, I think we need more info on the story.

Dirtman24 6 years, 11 months ago

Dang it, now I know why I didn't get my delivery of furniture, next time I deliver it myself for geesh sakes, the man ran off scared poopless rotflmfao...

Now bring me my darn furniture you noob driver lol

Dirtman24 6 years, 11 months ago

i got a class A CDL and NEVER done this, what a nub nooby lol

Curtis Lange 6 years, 11 months ago

Smooth move, buddy. Looks like that is one of rare well made roundabouts in the city too.

killjoy 6 years, 11 months ago

Roundabouts definitely have their place, but the execution by Lawrence has been an embarrassment. The east turnpike exit and many of them on Harvard appear to be designed by someone with no experience or training. What an embarrassment as the front door to the city.

average 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm a roundabout fan by and large. If I were traffic god, I'd put in several more, including some pretty novel places in town. But, I'll agree the ones on the pike feel pretty dumb (they work, I guess, but they sure aren't what a velocitized newcomer is expecting).

That said, you can't blame the pike ones on the city of Lawrence. 100% the KTA's decision and planning there. They have a turn-on for them (see Emporia), as does KDOT. Which is why they're all over Topeka, Junction City, Garnett, Florence, etc, etc.

akuna 6 years, 11 months ago

I like roundabouts, but I agree, there are some poorly placed, poor excuses for roundabouts in this city. The concrete parking block roundabouts in the residential neighborhood on the south side of campus (17th and Indiana) are particularly laughable. Speed humps are a much more appropriate solution.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

I don't mind roundabouts, but the one on Clinton Parkway is just useless and unsafe. I have never used the one on George Williams Way.

asixbury 5 years, 11 months ago

Not really unsafe. Roundabouts are pretty easy to navigate; especially in the light traffic of Clinton Parkway's.

LeBo 6 years, 11 months ago

Issue a citation for not using the Designated Truck Route!

LeBo 6 years, 11 months ago

Issue a citation for not using the Designated Truck Route!

BorderRat 6 years, 11 months ago

Just wondering, can all the fire trucks in the city make it around these things if needed?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Clipped from:

From June 3 2003 City Commission meeting minutes:

Commissioner Highberger heard concerns regarding emergency vehicle access through the 17th and Indiana round-a-bout.
Soules said the Fire/Medical Department expressed a concern about access, but staff typically received those types of concerns. He said when they develop and design a traffic circle or roundabout, they try to make those accessible to fire trucks by making the radius wide enough so that those vehicles could get around them. Commissioner Schauner asked if this particular roundabout required the acquisition of right-of-way beyond what was currently possessed at the intersection. David Woosley, Traffic Engineer, said at 17th and Indiana, no, it would be all within the confines of what was in there.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

However it's my opinion that they failed in a few instances, and it would be necessary to drive across the curbs to get around.

GSWtotheheart 6 years, 3 months ago

I asked a firefighter that one day at South Park and he said the city firefighters avoid those intersections because not all of their trucks can maneuver around the smaller roundabouts. he said it with the wryest grin I have seen in a long time

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Why why why did they ever spend the money to build these stupid things. The one on Clinton has hundreds if not thousands of battle scars. Cement to metal abrasions.

How many folks have ruined wheels especially boat trailer wheels over the years. How many folks have had damages paid by the city?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

I know of a couple curves on the highway in western Kansas where dozens of people failed to make the turn, and there have been many fatalaties there. But it's a gentle curve that can easily be navigated at 85 mph, or even higher. The fatal accidents all seemed to have one thing in common: Impared driver.

Ya gotta wonder.

And, if you hit the curb going off the road, it's your responsibility and your car insurance needs to pay the city, just as though you drove into a light pole or house.

The basic concept is: Keep your car on the road, please.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

"How many folks have had damages paid by the city?"

I'm sure that that the answer is : None, because not a single one of them called the police to come and please issue them a ticket for failure to maintain their car on the roadway.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 11 months ago

Except that they are proven to reduce accidents at intersections. I'm not sure why the semi-truck was taking this road in the first place, but a truck driver should be able to navigate one of these relatively easily.

Just because a few people don't understand the "oh so difficult" concept of a round-a-bout doesn't mean that NO ONE knows. They're easy, simple, and safe.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

There were a lot of people that simply could not understand the concept of a four way cloverleaf intersection where two large Interstates intersect.

Were you one of them?

CreatureComforts 6 years, 11 months ago

And lets not count the number of people who still don't understand Yield signs!

Louis White 6 years, 10 months ago

Cars converging from each direction and no stop indicator-wow, you traffic engineers are prodigies of common sense.

Brian Laird 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it would be people who lack the intellectual capacity to understand how to use them that are the "dumbest things on the road". Actually, the roundabouts help keep such people, who should not be driving in the first place, from crashing into the rest of us head on.

beatrice 6 years, 11 months ago

In a roundabout sort of way, everyone seems to agree that this guy can't drive very well.

blindrabbit 6 years, 11 months ago

Instead of a "Whack a Wreck", City should sponsor a "Whack a Roundabout" for that disaster on Clinton Parkway. Might as well make some money demolishing that albatross, as it will eventually happen anyway. The battle scars are testament to it's prior attacks

DillonBarnes 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm curious, who do you think is at fault when someone runs into one of these? Is it the roundabout's fault or is it the driver's fault? Are attentive and safe drivers running into these, or is it someone driving too fast or driving drunk or distracted?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

It's generally accepted that if cannot keep your vehicle on the road, it's your own fault. It's a quirk of the law.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

If I were towing a boat legally and did everything I could correctly and still bashed the rims on the trailer, you betcha I'd be calling city hall.

There should be a warning on Clinton Pkw. for campers and boaters.

xclusive85 6 years, 11 months ago

where do you want this warning posted? maybe the signs that show that there is a roundabout ahead would suffice?

cozborn 6 years, 11 months ago

if you bash your rims on that round-a-bout you should not be driving a trailer. ever.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

There have been two posters on this forum that have a CDL. That means they are qualified to drive semi trucks. Neither one of them saw any problem with that intersection, and both of them noted that it was simply driver error.

I don't have a CDL myself, but I have driven a semi truck. Even I can see what he did wrong.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 11 months ago

Do you think that in all the years that that roundabout has been there, this is the first time a truck has attempted to go through it?

I've seen trucks go through roundabout this size or smaller, like the one at 19th and Barker.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

There was a big difference in those situations. The drivers knew how to drive!

fuzzynavel 6 years, 11 months ago

what will all you people say when one of our firetrucks hit one of these fine roundabouts and we have to fix it with out tax money? I say get rid of then and make the police do their job,

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

I think our firetruck drivers know how to drive.

crbyd 6 years, 11 months ago

The round-a-bout on Clinton Pkwy is an accident waiting to happen. Eventually a truck will get stuck at that intersection as well. You have a four lane hightway that comes all the way across town and then they put a tiny little one lane round-a-bout 200 yards from the on ramp to the highway. In addition you have people towing boats and campers to the lake.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes indeed, eventually someone will come along and not know how to drive while towing.

Dixie Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

Tell me why there are roundabouts ??? someone? anyone? i think they are dangerous as no one seems to know how to yield at them.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

They are built to prevent serious accidents, injuries, and deaths.

If you don't understand how to use them, consult your driving handbook.

Or perhaps, you could go to driving school.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Why Roundabouts???

We want to look like Europia. Drive like Europains, eat like Europains, promote socialism like Europeans, go broke and borrow money from we filthy colonials. My thinking is our Euroeeing brothers have a way to quickly remove them in case we have to pull their bacon out of the fire again. Unless our tanks can traverse them.

Over there, over there, the Yanks are comin, the Yanks are comin, yuck, warm beer, cold snails, bad movies, football aint football, they eat carp, weekly bathing, the Irish, and those silly silly languages, , vois le vois u just ett me moose zie riesen ist de reason hack hack cough gut in targ

gimme good old U.S.A., even New Jersey.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

Definition of Europia: Europium(III) oxide (Eu2O3), is a chemical compound of europium and oxygen. It is widely used as a red or blue phosphor in television sets and fluorescent lamps, and as an activator for yttrium-based phosphors. It is also an agent for the manufacture of fluorescent glass.

cozborn 6 years, 11 months ago

Every large round-a-bout in the city can be passed with a tractor trailer. If you don't know how to successfully navigate a circle then maybe you should not be driving. Judging from the size of the concrete blocks on the clinton parkway round-a-bout the driver had to be going way over the legal speed limit to move them to the other side of the round-a-bout.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

I would be glad to take pictures of the scars on the Clinton Pkway whirlybird and post them. Somebody made those, and some serious damage occurred.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

You could also post some pictures of cars that rolled, collided with fixed objects, and collided with other vehicles too, in order to make your collection complete.

Jeff Dean 6 years, 11 months ago

I like the roundabouts. They are better than 4 way stops and unnecessary signal lights.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

You can run a stop sign at 80 mph.

You can run a red light at 80 mph.

But you can't run a round-about at all!

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

A lot of speculation here about whose fault this was. As a professional truck driver for 35 years, my opinion is this. One second of inattentive driving of your Toyota or Nissan can have you hitting curbs or going into a ditch. One second of inattentive driving with 80 feet of truck and trailer weighing 80,000 lbs. will have you doing (see pictures above) this. This kind of equipment requires thinking two to five miles ahead at all times. I have negotiated turns this tight pulling two 45 ft. trailers, but it takes slowing down and following a precise pattern of turns to do. Luckily no one was injured or killed here, and the driver is probably now unemployed.

CreatureComforts 6 years, 11 months ago

How dare you bring any sort of actual knowledge to the LJWorld forums! You've been around long enough to know that isn't welcomed by most "experts" around here!

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah . .I know. Momentary error of judgement. Not my usual style

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 11 months ago

It appears that there have been three professional truck drivers that have posted so far, and every single one of them saw no problem with the round-a-bout. They all believed that there should have been no problem navigating a semi truck through that round-a-bout, and the accident was simply the result of driver error.

Actually, I know exactly what his error was. On one of the two times I drove a semi truck, one time I was alone and I did the exact same thing, but stopped before I collided with anything. I had to back up and try again a couple times, it was rather embarrassing. I was hoping no one was watching me! By the way, backing up up a semi truck without hitting anything is not particularly easy either. I had to work a bit to get myself out of that jam.

But, judging from the many car drivers and a few people that tow boats on weekends that have posted, a lot of people think that navigating curves is a serious problem. No wonder there are so many car accidents!

Someone even posted that if he couldn't keep his trailer on the road, he was going to call city hall and complain that he didn't have the driving skills required in order to do it!

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

Ron. I'm not a fan of round-a-bouts at all, but the fact is they're here until something better/different comes along for the city government to play with. Inattentive driving is the biggest cause of accidents and no amount of government intervention will fix that.

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

Ha! You reminded me of this K1972! Watch the guy next to the cars . . .

RoeDapple 6 years, 11 months ago

50% of all CDL holders were in the bottom half of passing scores. Kinda like doctors . . lawyers . .

I, as you may have experienced also, have worked alongside too many others with the same qualifications and wonder "How the hell did he ever . . ."

jonas_opines 6 years, 11 months ago

This has to be the fault of the roundabout being there. It's really hard to imagine a wreck or or other form of accident ever occurring at stop signs, intersections, or even on city streets in general.

Ewok79 6 years, 11 months ago

When are we gonna relize that round a bouts don't work for us americans & our big a$$ vehicals??? This isn't europe, where everyone drives tiny lil cars.

CreatureComforts 6 years, 11 months ago

There are plenty of big cars and even (gasp!) TRUCKS in Europe that make it around them fine. They don't all drive big "vehicals"...

But there are roundabouts everywhere...for example, Australia has only slightly more expensive gas than us here in the US so their vehicles are closer to our size, and their trucks are just as big as ours, and...yep, still roundabouts there, and plenty of them.

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

I haven't read all the comments so this might be a repeat---but other roundabouts I have seen and navigated are larger than the ones in Lawrence and you can usually see across the whole thing and the surrounding area. Initially I had no fondness for roundabouts, but have grown used to them (except for some of them in Lawrence). I think the main problem in Lawrence is the size and design. I realize that on established streets there's often no room to make them larger, but in new construction they can. Also the raised gardens in the center blocks the view.

rmushrush 6 years, 8 months ago

I hate roundabouts. We should level them all. It's too bad he didn't knock this one down.

KS 6 years, 8 months ago

Looks like pretty lousy driving to me! Where did this guy get his license - Wal-Mart? If the Fire Department can get around them, why couldn't this guy? He simply cut it too close.

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

I saw a semi backing up for a block on Indiana, from one of those little fake round abouts. Didn't look like a safety feature working, More like the city ego's working, something about not admitting mistakes.

purplesage 6 years, 3 months ago

No, it isn't the fault of ht round-about. I blame the idiots who think we have be be trendy and Eurpoean for messes like this. Roundabouts? Hate 'em.

asixbury 5 years, 11 months ago

You are ignorant of what you are declaring. Roundabouts help traffic flow tremendously. They prevent many wrecks that would occur at intersections. Slow down when approaching a roundabout, while looking towards your left. If no one is already in the roundabout or approaching faster than you, you are safe to enter. Not rocket science here (which my chemist husband says is easier than chemistry, but different story).

Liberty275 5 years, 11 months ago

Funny pics. I'm glad nobody was hurt. I don't necessarily like the idea of roundabouts, but I do enjoy going thru them in the corvette when there is no traffic. They are like city-provided chicanes.

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