CARBONDALE—A short stretch around Adams Road between U.S. Highway 56 and 145st Street has seen an increase in rollover accidents in recent weeks.
Osage County Sheriffs Officers worked a pair of rollover accidents on Adams Road shortly after the end of school on Nov. 20, one near U.S. 56 and another near 141st Street. Another accident took place on the same stretch, just north of 141st Street, just over a week earlier.
“It’s the third non-injury rollover accident within two weeks,” said deputy John Knapp, who worked the accident at 141st Street. “We’ve had vehicles roll, luckily there weren’t any injuries.”
Knapp worked an accident in the 200 block of East 141st Street, where a 2003 Saturn Vue, driven by Dustin Graham, 18, of Carbondale, lost control, spun 180 degrees and slid into a ditch, overturning onto its roof. Graham was wearing a seat belt and was not injured in the accident.
Around the same time, a 1998 Jeep Cherokee driven by Austin VanBlaricon, 17, Topeka, turned onto Adams Road from U.S. 56, fishtailing on the loose gravel and rolling over.
Adams Road has seen an increase in traffic recently, due to a lane reduction for resurfacing on northbound U.S. 75, and a bridge replacement project on Topeka Boulevard, or “old 75.”
“Anytime you have construction, people are going to try to take alternate route around,” Knapp said, attributing the rollovers to inexperience in driving on gravel in conjunction with speed.
Sheriff’s officers had been saturating the area following calls from residents.
“We focus on the area because we’ve had traffic complaints from people of them running stop signs at 145th and Adams about the time school let out,” Knapp said. “We were in the area.”
Knapp advised newer drivers to watch their speed and slow down, especially on recently graded roads.
“If anything, it’s (driving) too fast for the conditions of the gravel road,” Knapp said. “That comes back to inexperience with gravel roads.”