By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DE SOTO, KS (KCTV) -
A wreck Tuesday morning is raising questions about the steps taken to make Kansas 10 highway safer, and some are wondering if the crash could have been prevented.
It happened just after 7 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Kansas 10 at the Kill Creek Road exit.
"The truck in the right lane started to make a lane change, didn't check his mirrors properly, didn't do a head check. The car in the left lane tried to avoid him, ended up losing control, the two of them got together and the truck spun through the median and ended up in the westbound lanes of traffic," Trooper Howard Dickinson with the Kansas Highway Patrol said.
Four people were injured in the accident, which involved a pickup and a minivan.
Troopers said if cable median barriers had been installed just a few miles west of the crash site, at least one of the cars wouldn't have been involved in the Tuesday morning crash.
"The barriers are designed to hold a car, keep them from crossing the median whenever possible," Dickinson said.
But the barriers stop a few miles east of K-10 and Kill Creek Road. Dickinson said KDOT installed barriers where they're most needed.
"They're around K-7 (highway) to the east and the west," he said. "That's where we have the traffic coming from Lawrence and De Soto, we start seeing them bunch up. That's where we usually see it, that's where it's an advantage for us, where we see most of the crossovers, certainly the worst ones."
KDOT is just finishing up the first few miles of cables near Kansas 7 highway and near Eudora, KS. KDOT has no immediate plans to install more cables.
"They're expensive, but we'd certainly hate to lose a life for something we could do. It's a very difficult call for a state to make at a time where we're all trying to tighten up our budgets," Dickinson said.
Investigators believe everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt and that probably saved several lives. Three people were taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center in critical condition and two of them are now in stable condition.
The fourth person was treated at the scene and was not taken to a hospital.
KDOT said they'll look at the expansion of the cable barrier program every few years.
A terrible crossover crash last year led to cables being installed on a stretch of K-10. In April 2011, two people died in a wreck near Eudora, KS. One of those killed was 5-year-old Cainan Shutt. His family and the mayor of Eudora pushed the state government to install cables on K-10.
KDOT eventually agreed to install the median cables along a pair of two-mile stretches.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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