UPDATE: Friday, October 11, 2013
While watching television at his home on S. Pattie Street, Luis Rivera heard a boom.
"It was a really bad noise," Rivera said.
He and a neighbor, David Griggs, ran out to the intersection of S. Pattie and Mt. Vernon. They were the first two people on the scene of a fatal crash involving a semi and a motorcycle.
The motorcyclist, 38-year-old Bartholomew Jordan of Wichita, died at the scene. Police say Jordan's death marks the 26th traffic fatality in Wichita this year. It's the third involving a motorcyclist.
"I still cannot believe it because in my whole life I've never seen something like that before," Rivera said Friday. "Last night, I couldn't even sleep, man, just thinking about this guy and his family."
Now, Rivera says, he's thinking how the situation could have been prevented if the numerous trees and bushes along Mt. Vernon hadn't obscured the drivers' vision.
"You have to go to the edge (of the intersection) to see people coming from both sides," Rivera said.
He's not the only one concerned. Many neighbors say it's a problem.
"I myself have had an experience where I crept out forward and then there (the cars) are," said Griggs.
Police say that's likely what happened in Thursday's crash.
"During the investigation we did find that there are numerous obstructions along the roadway caused by bushes and trees which may have prevented the truck from seeing the driver of the motorcycle as he approached," Lt. Joe Schroeder said.
Neighbors say they'd like to see something done to clear the trees and bushes to make the area safer. They say it's especially important given there's an elementary school just about a block away.
"It does cause some concern for us," Griggs said. "I'm a tree guy myself but it's not worth a life. I say take them out and put them somewhere else."
City leaders could not comment about this specific intersection but say they encourage people to contact the city engineer's office if they are concerned about sight lines at an intersection.
Once the city is alerted to a potentially dangerous intersection, the protocol is to send out traffic engineers to do an investigation, said Joe Pajor, Deputy Director of Public Works and Utilities.
Pajor says depending on various factors including the speed limits and the layout of the intersection, traffic engineers may then deem the "sight triangle" to be a problem. In that case, they determine whether the trees are on public or private property and ask the appropriate authority to bring the intersection into compliance.
People who live near Thursday's crash scene say they hope an investigation is done soon at the S. Pattie/Mount Vernon intersection.
"If they want to keep something (like this) from happening in the future, they need to do something about those trees," Rivera said.
The city engineer's office can be reached at (316) 268-4276.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Wichita Police have identified the motorcyclist killed in a collision with a semi.
The accident happened around 1:45 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Pattie. That's a few blocks west of Hydraulic.
Wichita Police say a semi that was southbound on Pattie was turning left to go east on Mount Vernon. That's when a motorcycle that was westbound collided with the trailer.
The victim is identified as Bartholomew Jordan, 38, of Wichita.
Investigators said the truck driver didn't see the motorcycle and pulled out in front of it. Bushes and other items blocked the truck driver's view.