‘A young man striving for virtue’: KU Catholic center mourns student killed in crash on way to sign lease for fall semester

photo by: University of Kansas

Dylan Garnett

Dylan Garnett went to Mass at the Catholic center every day during his first year at the University of Kansas, and he’d planned to enter new leadership positions there this fall.

Instead, the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center community is now mourning Garnett, after he was killed in a crash this week on Kansas Highway 10.

“His faith was the most important thing in his life,” Campus Minister Emily Liuzza said in an email on behalf of the center. “He was a young man striving for virtue, integrity, goodness, joy … and it exuded in everything he did.”

Liuzza described Garnett, 19, of Shawnee, as having his eyes “fixed on heaven” and said his life choices reflected that.

Garnett spent last fall in Lawrence and had just returned from studying abroad in Spain for the spring semester, Liuzza said. On Tuesday, she said, he was heading to Lawrence to sign a lease with the other men he’d planned to live in a house with this coming fall, which would have been his sophomore year.

Garnett was westbound on K-10 about 1:30 p.m. when he crashed near Ridgeview Road in Johnson County, according to a preliminary report from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

According to the patrol, Garnett’s 2004 Kia Sorento was behind a semitrailer that slowed down because of traffic. Garnett was unable to slow and hit the back of the semi.

Traffic was reduced to one lane because of construction on that stretch of K-10, according to a Kansas City Star report.

Garnett, who was wearing his seat belt, died at the scene, the highway patrol report said. The semi driver was taken to a hospital to be checked for possible injuries.

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod, in a statement, offered “deepest condolences” to Garnett’s family and friends on behalf of the entire university.

At the St. Lawrence Center, Liuzza said Garnett — who attended mass every day when he was in Lawrence — would be missed.

“He was a strong leader here, and was going to be entering into new leadership positions this fall,” she said.

St. James Academy in Lenexa, where Garnett graduated from high school in 2017, said in a Facebook post that Garnett was survived by his parents and two older brothers.

Among an outpouring of support for his family, one acquaintance of Garnett’s commented, “I just can’t believe this is real life.”

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

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