Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

Baldwin City’s Niehues victim in fatality wreck

July 12, 2007

A Baldwin City woman who frequently passes the scene of Monday's deadly accident at County Roads 460 and 1061 said the intersection is dangerous.

"Most people just don't take very much care in taking the corner," said Cindy Foster, who lives on County Road 460. "I have had several close calls there."

Michael R. Niehues, 49, of Baldwin City was traveling east on 460 and was hit by a box truck, driven by Marvin D. Gibbs of Eudora, authorities said. Gibbs, whose age was not released, was heading south on 1061 when he struck the driver's side door of Niehues' Nissan Sentra.

Niehues was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Douglas County Sheriffs' Office spokesman Lt. Doug Woods. The cause of the crash is under investigation, Woods said.

"It's not necessarily a dangerous corner if everyone is paying attention and driving courteously," Foster said.

A sign alerting drivers to limited visibility and a reduced speed is a warning that many people don't heed, Foster said.

Douglas County Public Works Director Keith Browning said that just one other accident has taken place there since 1990. A noninjury accident occurred in 2002 when an eastbound vehicle on 460 failed to yield to a southbound vehicle on 1061.

"I know that the sight distance is limited, but we have not a significant crash history there," Browning said. "It's really like most of our county routes with two travel lanes and no shoulders."

Browning said his department plans to examine the crossroads to determine what factors contributed to the accident.

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