Archive for Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Accident sends one to hospital; reroutes traffic

October 1, 2003

A late-afternoon two-vehicle accident Friday near the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and Lawrence St. sent a 21-year-old Colby man to a Kansas City hospital aboard a Lifestar helicopter.

Benjamin Schroeder was airlifted after the accident, but no information was available on his condition as of Tuesday. Schroeder was eastbound on U.S. 56 when it collided with a westbound semi-tractor trailer driven by Clint Burkdoll, 33, Ottawa.

"The semi was westbound, went to slow down because a vehicle in front of it turned and for some reason the semi jack-knifed and hit the other vehicle head on," said Lt. Kenny Massey of the Douglas County Sheriff's department. "I would guess there would be some additional investigation into the semi's brakes."

Massey said the investigation, which is being done jointly by the sheriff's department and the Kansas Highway Patrol, is continuing and wasn't complete prior to the Signal's Tuesday deadline.

"We should have it later on today (Tuesday) and ready to go," he said.

The accident occurred around 4 p.m. Friday just east of the intersection of U.S. 56 and Lawrence St. Busy Friday evening traffic had to be routed around the accident site onto Lawrence St. and 11th St. for hours.

"It takes awhile to work an accident like that to get everything like it should be," said Massey.

Baldwin police directed traffic from the east end of the accident site. The intersection has long been a concern to many Baldwin residents.

"We had the area evaluated when the new school project came on," said Mayor Ken Hayes. "We're hamstrung because the city does not border on the intersection. It's a county/state problem.

"But, obviously, it's a very dangerous intersection," Hayes said. "I've almost been taken out there. We're working on the solution in the safety committee, but we don't have the jurisdiction to do much."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.