WEATHERBY LAKE, Mo. — A U.S. Army colonel, out for a bike ride, was slammed by a turning vehicle which caused injuries forcing an end to his military career.

This is not the first time FOX4 has heard alarm bells about the North Kansas City intersection of NW Amity Avenue and NW Barry Road. In October 2020 FOX4 covered concerns after nine crashes that year.

Drivers familiar with the areas understand the crossing’s reputation for accidents due to cars crossing multiple lanes of traffic while turning – coming off a 45 MPH speed limit.

Signs that say “Dangerous Intersection” have been added to the approaching side-roads. But other than that – it looks like it always has, people who live nearby said.

The signs point toward the spot where a Trek bike met its end – it’s frame gnarled and twisted in a collision. The cyclist was U.S. Army Col. Frank Blake – coming up on 26 years of active duty.

“I was doing this circuit here — about 50 miles,” Blake said of his August 21, 2021 ride. “As I was getting ready to pass Amity Avenue I was struck by a minivan,” Blake said.

With plans to celebrate his wedding anniversary, Frank’s wife Rebecca Blake called his cell phone when he did not return home.

“The person who answered was the lady from the emergency room and she told me that she was there,” Rebecca Blake said.

“He was unconscious. He had every tube you can imagine. Both of his legs were severely broken so they were suspended,” Rebecca Blake said.

Frank Blake said both of his legs were completely mangled.

“Yeah, I don’t remember any of it because I didn’t wake up for two days afterward,” Frank Blake said.

“The pain kind of gets intense enough to where I have to kind of pause and collect myself,” he said.

“So this was the broken clavicle, and this is road rash,” he said, showing off his upper body scars.

Rebecca Blake said she tries very hard not to drive by where it happened.

The driver was cited with failure to yield. Frank Blake’s recovery is still on-going a year later — and a traumatic brain injury coupled with the broken bones means his military career is coming to an end — adding to the stress of the situation for his family.

“Yeah, and he’s a different person, and it’s really frustrating,” Rebecca Blake said.

“There was a period of time where I was quite…I would isolate, kind of stay to myself. I guess I was still trying to process everything,” Frank Blake said.

But one thing still difficult to process: why the intersection where it happened is still the way it is after years of complaints.

“There was no movement forward to correct the hazard, even after numerous accidents,” Frank Blake said.

The mayor of nearby Weatherby Lake, Missouri, which looks to Kansas City for road management of the intersection, said the preference would be to replace the crossing with a roundabout.

A spokesperson for Kansas City said that funding would need to be identified to make that change but that the city is aware of requests to look at the spot.

FOX4 did hear from Northland KCMO City Council member Dan Fowler who said that he is now in the process of working with public works on a possible plan to add signals at the intersection.

He said the intersection recently qualified for a change based on an August 2022 traffic study. While there are no firm plans for a change yet, alterations to the intersection soon could be on the horizon.

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