Wichita family wants city to fix hazardous drainage culverts after man falls in

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One Wichita man is hospitalized after he fell near a drainage culvert while taking a evening stroll down the river walkway in downtown. The Carroll family wants the city to fix the problem so there are no more accidents there.

On evenings like this you can catch a lot of Wichitans taking a stroll near the river. However, an evening stroll for Larry Carroll put him in the emergency room. He accidentally stepped to close to a drainage culvert. He said, "there was this washout over here and I didn't see it. One it was dark. I took a side step, stepped wrong and I fell." Larry says he had a bump on his head, scarred up his elbow and bruised his ribs. The medical bills cost him about $3,500 dollars, but thankfully insurance covered most of it.

However, since the accident in April, the Carroll family has been trying to get the city to address the problem. The city put dirt to fill in the area but the rain washed it away. Now if you take a stroll on the west side of the river you'll notice the culvert has been fenced in.

Ben Nelson, City of Wichita Strategic Services Manager said,"to keep people off that part of the riverbank we put up some temporary fencing so that people stay safe and stay on the path that's in good shape and safe to walk on."

The city plans on doing improvements to the west bank of the river sometime this fall. Nelson said,"essentially what those river bank improvements will entail would be some storm drainage enhancements that area to better channel that into the river."

The Carroll family hopes city officials will be true to their word so that no others have an accident there. Rebecca Carroll, Larry's wife said," I really hope that they do, but I'm not holding my breath. But in the mean time I will be watching it. I'm going to make sure they follow through on it."

The family did file a claim with the city to pay for the remaining medical costs. However, according to the family the city denied their claim saying it wasn't negligent because they weren't aware of the problem.


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