After KU student’s fatal crash near K-10 construction zone, KDOT adds more signage

After a college student driving to Lawrence on Kansas 10 highway died in a wreck near a construction zone Tuesday, state transportation officials added new warning signs to Interstate 435.

About 1:30 p.m. 19-year-old University of Kansas student Dylan Garnett, of Shawnee, was approaching slowed traffic near the construction at K-10 and I-435 in Lenexa, was unable to stop in time and rammed his car into the back of a tractor trailer, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Just ahead of the crash K-10 was reduced to one lane between Ridgeview Road and Woodland Road for milling and overlay to preserve the bridge over Woodland Road.

On Thursday, Kansas Department of Transportation placed trailer mounted signs that read “K-10 road work, be prepared to stop” to the westbound K-10 ramps on I-435 west and I-435 south, according to Burt Morey, KDOT’s state transportation engineer.

“As a result of this crash we wanted to try to do something more to bring it to driver’s attention,” Morey said.

The signage that was at the construction zone at the time of the crash was consistent with federal standards, but after Tuesday’s crash the department is analyzing data to determine how many crashes have occurred near the construction zone, Mike Quizon, public affairs manager for KDOT’s KC metro region, said Thursday.

Last weekend a woman suffered minor injuries after driving into one of the items blocking the left lane in the construction zone.

Last summer a similar fatality accident occurred near a construction zone just half mile east of the current construction. Landon Daniel, 18, was killed around 10 a.m. on July 19 when he hit the back of a Honda Civic that was stopped for traffic.

Quizon said the traffic in that case was caused by a one-day construction project that closed a lane over Mill Creek Bridge in Lenexa for inspections.

The construction that contributed to Tuesday’s wreck started in March and is scheduled to finish in late July.

Morey said drivers need to remember to pay attention and slow down, especially when they see signs of a construction zone.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.