Five-Year-Old’s Death Inspires Traffic Safety Precautions

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EUDORA, Kan. - It was an accident that shattered the lives of nearly everyone it touched.

Five-year-old Cainan Shutt died after a driver high on drugs and alcohol crossed a grass median on Kansas Highway 10 and slammed into the car the boy's grandfather was driving.

"Being without Cainan has been a day to day struggle for both Courtlyn and I," said Cainan's mother, 28.  "It's a process. We are still learning to be here without him."

While the last year without Cainan has been the most difficult part of life for Alison and Courtlyn, 3, his sister,  the family decided soon after his death that something had to be done to prevent their pain from becoming someone elses.

"It's important to us that when people think about Cainan they don't just think about the accident," said his mother. "He was a little boy filled with life and just a wonderful child. The accident was the end of his life here but he was much more than a little boy in a car accident."

That's why the Shutt family and much of their town of Eudora fought for the better part of a year to get cable dividers installed along an accident prone section of the K10 highway.

"We hope people's lives will be saved and that it will keep people safe," said Alison. "Even if the accident isn't a fatality accident to just keep people from crossing that median. This is the first set of cables being installed in Kansas, we hope they'll go in all over Kansas n the dangerous places they're needed."

So tragedies like little Cainan's and all the devastation that comes with it don't happen to another family.

"You get to make a decision how you deal with these situations and I did not want him to go down as the boy in the car accident," Alison said. "It was important to me to make something wonderful with his name so we could help protect people."

According to KDOT officials, construction on two sections of cable median barriers will begin on Monday. The project involves a 2.3 mile stretch along K-10 west of the Church Street exit, and a two mile stretch of the highway near the K-7 interchange in Johnson County.  The project will cost $1.15 million.

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