LJWorld.com weblogs The Lawrence Crime Blotter

Driver identified in fatal hit-and-run


A police report released this morning identifies the driver in a deadly hit-and-run accident during the weekend as Joshua I. Walton, 24, of Lawrence. According to a report, the car he was driving struck and killed pedestrian Ryan M. Kanost, 22, about 1:09 a.m. Saturday at 13th and Kentucky Streets. The report lists two factors the officer believed contributed to the wreck: Walton's failure to yield to the pedestrian, and "Reckless/Careless driving."Walton initially left the scene but turned himself in later in the day. He was interviewed but has not been arrested or cited, pending a review of the case by Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office. The report released today does not contain any indication that alcohol or drugs were a factor. Police said earlier this week they were awaiting lab-test results.-contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http:www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander


sun45kiss 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Controlfreak.........what the hell is going on. What ever happened to just common sense. He hit someone, he left, they died and he is walking around free until the DA decides what to do (hope he is not a flight risk) meanwhile the family is grieving, planning a funeral, and they are comforted by the fact this guy is walking around FREE and there son is DEAD !! This is crazy. I would probably snap !!

local_support 10 years, 9 months ago

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local_support 10 years, 9 months ago

It's sad that such a bright young kid like Kanost was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was more than likely intoxicated. I hope that the DA does what is right and charges this irresponsible individual with the appropriate crime.

cutny 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, local_support. Why don't you tell us EVERYTHING you know about this case? Oh wait, you just did. Judge not lest ye be judged.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

I see the immediate judgement police are leaping already. Cut the kid a break until it's determined whether or not he was drinking. At least he had the guts (or the conscience) to turn himself in.

local_support 10 years, 9 months ago

Actually I know quite a bit about what happened. I would tell you but unfortunately my comments will be deleted.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

He turned himself in after he had a chance for any substances that might impair his judgment to leave his system and to clean his car of any incriminating evidence. Assume the worse and throw the book at him. Make him an example of those who hit and run.

concernedparent 10 years, 9 months ago

I just can't understand why they haven't arrested him? If they know he did it, why is he still free? I'm just curious.

dragonwagon2 10 years, 9 months ago

The saddest thing about incidents like this is that no matter what charges are filed - this event has wasted 2 young lives. One won't live to see his potential and the other won't be able to forget.

rousseau108 10 years, 9 months ago

Concernedparent, they probably haven't arrested him yet b/c more than likely the only charge they could hit him with is vehicular manslaughter, which is a misdemeanor. there are limitations to when someone can be arrested for a misdemeanor, mostly as when it occurs in an officer's presence or there is reason to believe the suspect won't be caught unless immediately arrested or evidence lost, etc. since he turned himself in after the fact, it would have been illegal to arrest him. now if the DA decides later that factors present cause the driver to be charged with a felony, then that is a different situation.

tearanydawn 10 years, 9 months ago

I totally agree with dragonwagon.... the situation sucks no matter how you look at it.

ControlFreak 10 years, 9 months ago

Is cutny serious?

I don't care if there was alcohol involved or not. He hit and killed somone and then drove away.

It started out as an accident. When he drove away, it became intentional. I have no sympathy.

And yes, IF I hit someone with my car and then drove away, I would hope someone would throw the book at me for refusing to accept responsibility for my actions.

He should be judged, as should anyone who hits someone and then drives away without stopping.

Baille 10 years, 9 months ago

"...more than likely intoxicated."


"It started out as an accident. When he drove away, it became intentional."

No, it didn't. Driving away is a separate crime. It does not change the nature of the accident nor the state of mind of the driver.

ControlFreak 10 years, 9 months ago

No...no...no...you are missing my point.

It was an accident until he drove away. Once he drove away it became a crime.

In the middle of the night it is possible to hit people crossing the street especially if they are wearing dark clothing (as an example). So just hitting the guy wasn't enough.

The fact that he drove away makes what he did inexcusable.

Driving away was the intentional act. Therefore, it started out as an accident, but became an intentional act when he drove from the scene.

lisabeth2002 10 years, 9 months ago

this man very well could have gotten away with what he had done. i'm not here to argue what should happen to him now or what his state of mind what when this accident happened, but we must remember that he did in fact turn himself in. he could have left town, but he didn't...he turned himself in.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

If I flee the scene of an accidient where I killed an innocent person, I too hope they throw the book at me. This idiot realized he would eventually get caught and that is the only reason he turned himself in and only after he cleaned the car and his blood of as much incriminating evidence as possible. Throw the book at him.

Baille 10 years, 9 months ago

Gotcha, CF. Driver is guilty of hit-and-run, intentional crime; but the accident doesn't necessarily become some form of intentional homicide simply because he drove away.

BlackVelvet 10 years, 9 months ago

I'll not make any excuses for the driver's behavior in leaving the scene. But before you all pass judgment, what would YOUR first thought be if you had hit someone? Sometimes people panic. At least he did turn himself in. Let the prosecutors and police investigate and find all the facts, and then hopefully the right decisions will be made.

ControlFreak 10 years, 9 months ago

There is no guarantee that he would have gotten away with it.

"He could have left town..."

Um, ok...

Though it is great they have the guy in custody, that in NO WAY makes up for him driving away from killing someone with his car (regardless of whether or not he knew the person to be dead).

lisabeth2002 10 years, 9 months ago

i wasn't excusing his action...just simply stating that of all the things he did wrong..he did infact make one good call

lisabeth2002 10 years, 9 months ago

i understand, but my initial point was he turned himself in (great idea) rather than 1. waiting to be caught or 2. running again. whatever was going through his head and however he came to the decision to turn himself in, i believe he made the right choice in doing so.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

He turned himself in because he was going to be caught and he knew it. Its hard to explain damage to your car to friends, roommates, parents, insurance agents, and repair shops around the time of a hit and run. Somebody is going to connect the dots. I don't give any credit or breaks to people who are forced by circumstances beyond their control to eventually do the right thing.

Now if you do the right thing immediately or if you could get away with it and turn yourself in, that is a different story. Remember the cell phone using SUV driving soccer mom who hit the kid in the street on Mass? She stopped immediately to help and that I can respect.

jag83 10 years, 9 months ago

Of course he should have the books thrown at him. Turning himself in was the right thing to do, but that never should have been an issue because he should have never left the scene. The fact that he turned himself in doesn't change the fact that someone lost his life. There's always the "what if...". What if the driver stopped and helped the victim in whatever way was necessary, or what if the driver called 911 to report the accident, even 30 seconds before someone else did...These 2 scenarios could've saved the victim's life.

I know that if i accidentally hit someone with my car I would do everything in my power to help the person, not only for the sake of that person but for my own conscience, to know that even though i was the driver, I did what i could to save a LIFE.

CardsFan 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow you can hit and run and turn yourself in and not get arrested but get into so-called fight downtown and you get yourself arrested and your name is in the paper the next day. Something is wrong with this picture

Bud Stagg 10 years, 9 months ago

I cannot believe these posts. The driver obviously knew he hit a human being. YOU DO NOT EVER LEAVE THE SCENE. If you do, you are either thinking of trying to get away or cover something. In my opinion, Leaving the scene should be punished worse than drinking.

AmyR 10 years, 9 months ago

Cutny I think it is funny you say not to judge. Your post reference Police Chief Olin in the story of the officer identified in the shooting judged the Chief pretty hard. I think in your own words you say.......

Yeah, local_support. Why don't you tell us EVERYTHING you know about this case? Oh wait, you just did. Judge not lest ye be judged.

It is obvious you have an agenda. But when it is your agenda, I guess it is okay.............Hypocrit

diogenes 10 years, 9 months ago

I cannot believe some of the posts either. Some posters are assuming a lot of knowledge that they cannot possibly have. Two things are clear. First, the death of the young man is tragic. It is terrible. It is impossible to imagine the pain his family must be experiencing. Second, no one here knows what happened or what the state of mind or physical condition of the driver was. No one here knows why he left the scene. No one here knows that he was under the influence of alcohol. No one knows why he went to the police. No one knows who he is, his history or character, or what he must be feeling about what happened.

Hilary Morton 10 years, 9 months ago

It's hypocritE. I can't believe the horrible grammar and spelling found on these posts.
You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

Go outside, and enjoy the fall weather, and stop arguing about stuff you have no control over, or knowledge of.

There should be more lights on Tennessee and Kentucky streets. End of story.


jag83 10 years, 9 months ago

Yay, lets lower the bar...start throwing punches at grammar and spelling!

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago

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oxandale 10 years, 9 months ago

i am sure the reason he is out in in society after turning himself in is that events went something like this: 1. turned himself in 2. Arrested at that point 3. Was given bail amount 4. Either had a family/friends bail him out OR 5. Had bailbondsman come out

Catherine Evans 10 years, 9 months ago

JOEHAWK, I must ask when you hit someone with your car? Obviously to make such an assertion you have been in this situation before. There are several factors that could play into this. He could have been drinking, but he could have just as easily been sober. He could have been driving completely erratically due to his state of mind, or he could have had someone drunk in the car with him who was causing him to drive badly. There are many possibilities. Why don't we leave it to the authorities to provide all facts and decide charges before we crucify this kid here?

oxandale 10 years, 9 months ago

Another thought is that the kid could have been sober, and the individual who got hit could have been intoxicated. There are so many factors.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

"This idiot realized he would eventually get caught and that is the only reason he turned himself in and only after he cleaned the car and his blood of as much incriminating evidence as possible" was my entire quote, but still you are right.

I should have written "This idiot realized he would eventually get caught and that is the only reason he turned himself in and only after he HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO clean the car and his blood of as much incriminating evidence as possible."

And because he ran after he killed an innocent human being, we might not have the evidence of a more serious charge than reckless driving. It is for that reason that we should THROW THE BOOK AT HIM for any charges that we do have evidence of.

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify my position.

liveworkplay 10 years, 9 months ago

It's very sad that two young lives had to end up the way they have. It's not illegal to drink then drive. Were the two men drunk? I don't know. I do know Josh doesn't smoke drugs nor allow any open alcohol containers within his vehicle. Mistakes were made that can not be undone. My deepest regrets to the family and friends of Ryan. Can we all please be a little more sensitive and less callous to the situation? Many hearts are fractured on both sides.

PS, October 8th, 2002, two young men were collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Kansas Highway 10. They almost lost their lives. Looking at the damage to the car, there's no chance anyone could have survived. The driver wasn't released until November 22nd. Look at LJWorld's archives.

With All My Heart, S.

no_use_for_a_name 10 years, 8 months ago

Bash the character? Lets get something striaght. He hit a pedestrian and ran like a coward while the young man was left to die in the street. What does that say about a mans character? How can that be justified? Right now the only thing he is better than is one who hits a pedestrian, runs and fails to turn himself in. Nothing more. I find it hard to believe that anyone can defend his actions. Whats next, will we be trying to justify and defend killing Amish school girls?

no_use_for_a_name 10 years, 9 months ago

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inaglasshouse 10 years, 9 months ago

no_use_for_a_name, you are so quick to give us Josh's name, and give such slanderous information. You are such a coward not to identify yourself. I've known Josh for a long time, and what you are saying isn't true. I've never known a kinder, more compasionate person than Josh. I can't even begin to imagine what he is feeling now. There but for the grace of God, goes you!

Heartsnhalos 10 years, 9 months ago

Sounds like his mommy or daddy might know the right people...Least that's the way it is in the little town where I live nearby... Everybody else, ALL the details would of been plastered in the paper...

Heartsnhalos 10 years, 9 months ago

Oh And BTW, wer're not soppossed to post our names, But I will if you want it, I don't and never have hid behind a monitor... The truth is the truth....I listen to the scanner, and it's who you know these days.. I can tell when the dispatch tells the name whether it's going to be a warning, or in custody..And whether it'll make it in the paper as Headlines, or be for us to guess at the details as this was...It is the was it is...

rangerpaul 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree with cccalum. All who have known Josh for 10+ years should have seen this coming. How much of the responsibility falls on our shoulders though? We saw this reckless behavior when he was behind the wheel yet we all sat idle. Someone should have spoken up after he ripped his bumper off driving into a sandpit. Its hard to call a friend out on behavior like this, its hard to show that kind of tough love but if one of us would have someone would still be alive and our hommie wouldn't be looking at serious serious jail time.

I love the kid to death but its really hard to forgive this kind of irresponsibility. Many of you have commented on how he is a sweet and nice person. Sweet and nice doesn't cut it if you are flagrantly irresponsible. I feel horrible for what happened but it's hard to feel sorry for Josh when this was 100% preventable.

katieann 10 years, 8 months ago

How quickly some people pass judgment on someone when they really don't know any of the facts of a situation. My heart breaks for Ryan's family and friends, but many of the comments that have been made on this site are simply untrue. Josh was not trying to figure out how to "get away" with something. I have known Josh for a very long time and he is one of the best people I know. I know he is surely devastated by what happened. As an earlier comment states, no one here knows what really happened that night, and some are making assumptions they can't possibly know are true. Let's not pass judgment until all the information is given to us. As for Heartsnhalos, you don't know anything. What you are implying simply isn't the case. Could it be that the police have information that you don't have and they are continuing to gather information before they pass judgment? Let them do their jobs and when the investigation is complete, they will let all of us know what happened and why.

RangerLarry 10 years, 8 months ago

I find it inappropriate to bash the character of Josh during an extremely difficult time in his life. My heart and prayers go out to the victim's family. Josh is a wonderful, caring person, and I will remain his good friend through all this without passing my judgements in his direction. NOBODY on this page is perfect, and hasn't made decisions they regret. No amount of hateful words will bring the victim back to life. Josh is a GOOD person, and I know with all my heart that if the tables were turned... he wouldn't be here slandering your character in this public forum. He is better than that.

cccalum 10 years, 8 months ago

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Heartsnhalos 10 years, 8 months ago

RangerLarry:"I find it inappropriate to bash the character of Josh during an extremely difficult time in his life" INAPPROPRIATE???....How Can You Even Justify HIS "Difficult Time" When HIS Victim's Family Had To Bury Their Loved One!

RangerLarry:"NOBODY on this page is perfect," I Haven't Seen Anyone On Here Claim To Be, Least Of All Me, But I 've Also Never Killed Anyone!

RangerLarry:"Josh is a GOOD person" He LEFT A Human Being To Die, In The Middle Of The Street!,If That Is A "Good" Person In Your Eyes, I Sure Would Hate To See A Bad One...

katieann 10 years, 8 months ago

Things are not always what they seem.

Aklilu Kassa 10 years, 8 months ago

You guys are ridiculous. The large number of you who know no one is this matter should stfu. I've known Josh since before high school. I went to ONorth with him and have spent many a night out with him. Some facts about Josh:

He drinks too much.

In high school a dude driving a semi truck fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line and nailed Josh head on, almost killing him.

Josh and his passenger were given a large sum of money in a lawsuit, and Josh recovered, sort of.

Josh comes from a wealthy family.

Josh is a very kind person, one of the last people who would intentionally try and harm someone. He has never crossed the law before.

Josh made a serious mistake. Take all facts and evidence into consideration when making these outrageous judgements. And and one more thing...who walks in the street at 1:00 am that isn't looking for oncoming traffic? Someone who has been drinking.

lisandmatt 10 years, 8 months ago

I am Ryan Kanost's aunt. Do not slander his good name by even suggesting that he may have been at fault via being drunk. Ryan was NOT drunk, and he was in the crosswalk when he was hit. Ryan was one of a kind and the world is a worse place without him. I hope the person who hits him thinks about it every day for the rest of his life. At least he has a life.

Aklilu Kassa 10 years, 7 months ago

Josh Walton will be thinking about it the rest of his life, I promise you that. Wasn't trying to slander Mr Kanost name....

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