Family and friends mourn, call for change after 70-year-old man killed in Blue Ridge Boulevard crash

Jim Schweller with his wife and grandchildren

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Family and friends are mourning an Olathe man who was delivering packages for the holidays when he was killed.

Jim Schweller, 70, was working as an Amazon Flex driver Monday in Grandview. He was an independent contractor using his own vehicle to deliver packages. His family told Fox 4’s Rebecca Gannon that he said he felt like he was delivering Christmas.

Grandview police are still investigating what led up to the fatal wreck in the 400 block of Blue Ridge Boulevard. They said Schweller had just delivered a package to Mike’s Auto Repair and had pulled out of the business’s driveway and onto Blue Ridge, going east, when a sedan going west hit his van, crushing his vehicle and him.

Chris Simmons was working in Mike’s Auto Repair when Monday’s crash happened.

“We heard it clear in the shop,” he said, “over all our equipment.”

Simmons and other employees quickly came outside.

Jim Schweller

“I didn’t see it happen, but I seen the aftermath, and it was bad,” Simmons said Wednesday.

The stretch of Blue Ridge Boulevard, he said, is busy and dangerous. It became deadly with Schweller’s passing. The debris from his van and the 29-year-old woman’s sedan are still on the shoulder of Blue Ridge Boulevard.

The 70-year-old was a father of three. His son said Schweller was full of energy and very loud. He said his father was almost as loud as his seven grandchildren.

Schweller, his family said, loved baseball. His son also said his father was well known to anyone who played baseball in Olathe or even Johnson County. He kept score at the Olathe East baseball games for the last 25 years.

Many remember Schweller for his nicknames; his son said he gave them to everyone. Schweller’s own grandchildren nicknamed him Baboo.

Schweller’s son said the 70-year-old loved to talk to people, so working for Uber and Amazon Flex was a good fit for his outgoing nature.

Police are still investigating Monday’s accident, but those who deal with Blue Ridge every day don’t want a cause — they want a change.

Simmons looked both ways as he crossed the street to go back to work, and said, “Somebody else is going to get hurt.”

“This is a terrible incident and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Amazon, for which Schweller was an independent contractor, told Fox 4.