Monday, Oct. 22 2012 3:48PM
Lee’s Summit woman killed on U.S. 71 after minor collision
Pedestrian run over by three SUVS, highway patrol warns drivers to use precaution
By Bethany Bashioum
A Lee’s Summit woman was killed Oct. 19 after getting hit by three SUVs on U.S. 71.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 33-year-old Joy P. Johnson, had been standing in the left lane of traffic of southbound U.S. 71, a half-mile north of Missouri 291, in Harrisonville.
Johnson had been involved in single-vehicle, non-injury accident just before midnight after losing control of her vehicle and crashing into a barrier cable in the median, Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg said.
Johnson was the only occupant in the vehicle, and a witness said she had got out of her car to inspect the vehicle, and was standing in the roadway.
According to officials, Johnson had not called for emergency responders after the accident.
While standing in the highway, Johnson was clipped by the mirror of a 2010 Ford Escape, driven by Benjamin R. Schlueter, 27, Harrisonville, causing the pedestrian to fall to the ground.
Two other SUV vehicles, driven by a 22-year-old Hayes, Kan., woman, and a 39-year-old St. Joseph man, proceeded to run over Johnson’s body.
The drivers of all three SUVs stopped to try to assist Johnson.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.
No citations have been issued as a result of the crash investigation.
The accident is still under investigation, and an autopsy is pending as authorities are investigating to determine if alcohol played a role in the incident.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol was assisted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Harrisonville Police Department.
Johnson was previously an employee of the Lee’s Summit Journal. Her survivors include her husband, and a 11-year-old son.
The highway patrol urges drivers to stay in their vehicles if they are involved in a crash.
The Cass County incident comes not long after a 15-year MoDOT employee was hit and killed while providing traffic assistance for an accident on Interstate 70 in Independence. In August, an 18-year-old tow truck driver was killed after being hit by a truck while helping a woman with a flat tire on Interstate 35, near the Christopher S. Bond Bridge, in Kansas City.
If a driver becomes involved in an accident, and the car is drivable, Stosberg said to drive off the road if they can, stay in the vehicle, and call 911 or *55, which will contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
If it not possible for a driver to move the vehicle, Stosberg said to get out of the vehicle and get away from your vehicle as far as you can.
“Every situation is a little different. Under no circumstances should you get on the roadway,” Stosberg said. “If it’s a non-injury accident, and your vehicle is in the roadway, state law requires that you move it off the roadway...It can be traumatic to find yourself in an accident, or disabled on the side of the road, so definitely call 911 or *55 to get help on the scene”
Drivers passing by also have a responsibility.
“People need to always be aware of constantly changing traffic conditions, whether it is a law enforcement officer on the side of the road, or a stranded motorist, making the highest degree of care,” Stosberg said. “We want to keep everyone safe – that’s what we’re here for. We are going to respond in every situation to help people out. We do that on a daily basis, so people should not be afraid utilize law enforcement as that resource.”
So far this year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that of the 1,470 pedestrian traffic accidents in the state, 128 of them have been fatal.
Ten of the deaths have involved pedestrians who were standing, lying, or sitting on the road.
“Statewide, we’re currently experiencing a six percent increase in fatalities over this time last year,” said Stosberg, of all traffic fatality accidents.
He said two-thirds of the fatalities have been unbuckled occupants. Had they been buckled up, Stosberg said half of the victims would have survived.