A barber and avid runner who had worked hard to turn his life around was killed Sunday at age 42 when a car driven by a teenager the wrong way on a one-way street struck him.
Lonzell J. Davis was walking toward Prospect Avenue at 34th Street just after 4 p.m. when the wrong-way vehicle entered the intersection. Another vehicle struck the car in the side, causing it to spin and strike Davis.
Police found Davis’ barber equipment scattered on the sidewalk and pavement.
Investigators said the 17-year-old driver was traveling west on 34th Street in a Chevrolet Impala. A southbound silver Hyundai Sonata struck the Impala, which spun and struck Davis as he stood at the intersection’s southwest corner.
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Witnesses tried to resuscitate Davis before emergency crews took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Four other people, including the teenage driver, were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Davis has visited a hair client shortly before the accident.
He recently had graduated from the recovery program at the Kansas City Rescue Mission, said Juliann Hansen, a spokeswoman for the mission. He had moved into mission’s transitional program and recently enrolled in a Bible college.
“He was very well-loved here, and everyone was shocked by his death,” Hansen said Monday.
Davis gave free haircuts on Tuesdays and Thursdays to overnight clients at the mission.
“He was always very encouraging, praying for people and talking with people,” said Larry Hansen, a shelter supervisor. “He waxed the floors here at the mission and had this place looking 20 years younger.”
As a runner, Davis had participated in various half-marathons, 10K and 5K races with others at the mission in a group called Soldiers of Grace. It started as way to get fit but soon evolved into a community outreach through which the group raised money for local charities. Participants designed their own T-shirts and became well-known at local races, Larry Hansen said.
On Saturday, Davis and other runners from the mission participated in “Putting the Boots to ALS,” a 5K run and walk at Rockhurst High School that raised money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“He was running to give back, wanting to do something positive and productive,” Juliann Hansen said of Davis. “It also was a way to celebrate their recovery and the life change they experienced.”
Relatives have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover Davis’ funeral expenses.
How to help
The GoFundMe page for Davis’ funeral expenses: http://www.gofundme.com/zrd5nnw