OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — After a crash on Thursday injured four elementary school children, residents are condemning the intersection where it happened, calling it dangerous.
Overland Park Police said a driver ran a red light at 87th and Grant on Oct. 24, causing a chain-reaction crash. Four sisters who were walking to school and one adult driver went to the hospital. All the injured parties are expected to recover.
According to investigators, the elementary school students were on the sidewalk, waiting to cross the street.
People who work and live near 87th and Grant say the intersection has been a problem for a while. Kevin Kurz owns K&K Flyfishing. He said the crash didn’t surprise him.
“There’s an accident it seems like every week,” Kurz said. “A major accident at least once a month. I’ve seen some really bad ones.”
He said he hears tire screeches all the time and people running red lights daily.
Overland Park’s Police Chief Frank Donchez reviewed traffic video of the girls waiting on the curb for the crossing guard to bring them across the street.
“This person disregards the red light, hits another vehicle and then careens into them,” Chief Frank Donchez said. “There’s nothing they could have done differently. This was strictly on the motorist, 100 percent.”
Chief Donchez called today’s wreck, graphic.
“You’re seeing children get mowed down by a car,” Chief Donchez said. “That’s difficult to see. It’s hard to see adults, but you’re talking children who were totally doing what they were supposed to do.”
Overland Park has about 300 traffic cameras. More than a third of all crashes are caught on camera. That helps police investigate and hold people accountable for their choices behind the wheel.
“I think the message is, people just need to take a breath and relax,” Chief Donchez said. “At the end of the day, is it worth it? And do you want to live with you’ve killed someone or hurt someone badly?”