Neighbors concerned about road safety after deadly Leavenworth County crash

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LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, Kan. -- A man hired to make metro roads safer is killed on the job. The man died in a crash just after 5 a.m. Monday, just west of Bonner Springs, Kansas.

One woman says this is not the first time there's been a crash just feet away from her front yard.

"We are very careful when we enter and leave the property," long-time resident Jean Ney said.

She's lived off 158th Street near Metro Avenue since the 1970s. The land has been in her husband's family for six generations. She said times are changing on the street.

"We've had multiple, multiple accidents," Ney said. "Cars flipping in our front yard."

Monday morning she said she woke up to another crash. The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office said a county sub contractor lost control of a truck and went off the road.

William Thilmont, 47, of Oak Grove, Missouri died at the scene.

Ney said she doesn't know what caused the crash, but said the road doesn't have shoulders which makes it dangerous for drivers.

"The edge of the road is the edge of the road," Ney said. "The white line is the edge of the road, and if you drop a wheel of the white line the chances are you're going to go over, because it's not a gradual ditch. It's a ditch that will take you over.

"It's not a road that's intended for a lot of intensive commercial traffic and we have rules and regulations about that," Leavenworth County Commissioner Mike Stieben said.

Other people living in the area are concerned that the road may become even more dangerous because a sand pit is proposed near the same area.

Stieben said even if the sand pit is approved, trucks going to and from the pit would not be able to travel down 158th Street  and there will be an independent study to see how county roads can be improved.

"Whether we want to lower the speed limit or whether we want to look at whether the road needs shoulders I think that's something we should look at, but those roads are non arterial roads," Stieben said. "They're not designed for heavy traffic."

Ney said she would like to see road improvements, because most of all, she doesn't want anyone else to get hurt.

"I have nothing but sincere, sincere sympathy, and I hope you know how much we're praying for you," Ney said.

Stieben said he sends his condolences to Thilmont's family.

The crash and it's cause remains under investigation.

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