OLATHE, Kan. — A 19-year-old Kansas man was killed in a crash on Kansas 10 in May 14 of this year when he was unable to stop and ran into the back of a semi trailer.
The deadly crash has not been the only accident in the area, which has raised questions about the safety of the stretch of highway between Renner Blvd. and Woodland St.
A total of 569 crashes were recorded on the 2-mile potion of highway in the last decade.
"From 2009 to 2018, the number of crashes annually went up and it went down. They range anywhere from 44 to 75," Mike Quizon, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Transportation in Kansas City said.
The crash numbers were highest from 2012 to 2015. KDOT recorded 65, 51, 75 and 68 crashes respectively. In 2018, KDOT estimates there were 57 crashes.
This year as of May 14, 2019, KDOT has recorded 54 crashes on that stretch.
Over that 10-year period of time, the daily traffic count grew by 20,000 cars, from 56,600 in 2009 to 75,250 in 2018.
The section of K-10 is currently under a work zone where traffic comes to a near halt several times a day. Workers are repairing the bridge at Woodland.
"Of those crashes, four out of five happened outside of a work zone which begs the question, what are the contributing factors?" Quizon said.
When Dylan Garnett was killed in the crashon May 14, he was going westbound coming up on the work zone. Officials said he could not slow down in time and crashed into the back of the semi trailer.
Garnett was an alumni of St. James Academy, located in Lenexa off of Kansas 7 and Prairie Star Parkway. K-10 intersects K-7 just southeast of the school.
"Where we're situated on the western part of the metro, most of our students are coming from the east of us, so a lot are taking K-10 to K-7 to get here," Shane Rapp, St. James Academy principal said.
Rapp said they have had several conversations with the students throughout the year about safe driving, no matter which road they're on.
He said most of their of-age students are driving or carpooling on K-10 to get to and from school.
"It's hard to keep them mindful of just how careful they need to be out there," Rapp said.
Of the total number of crashes, 119 happened in a work zone. Quizon said 85 percent of those happened because a driver was going too fast or wasn't paying attention.
"We added additional signage. We added portable signs coming off of the 435 exit so now there are four places where you will see signs," Quizon said.
Before May 14, KDOT had three signage locations: four miles out on Interstate 435 & Interstate 35, a mile out at Renner Blvd., and a half mile out at Ridgeview Rd. where signs tell drivers to merge into one lane.
After Garnett’s death, KDOT added portable signs coming off 435 south onto K-10, which is two miles out.
Overall, the majority of the crashes did not result in any injuries.