Archive for Thursday, August 29, 2002

Coker injured in K-10 accident

August 29, 2002

Leon Coker, 85, remains at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City after suffering injuries in an accident last Thursday on Kansas Highway 10.

Mary Guntert said both her parents were injured in the accident that fractured her father's right hip. Myrtle was also taken to Saint Luke's, where she was treated for a broken little finger and released. Both Myrtle and Leon suffered numerous bruises and abrasions from the accident, she said.

Surgery to repair Leon's hip has been tentatively scheduled for Friday, Myrtle said Tuesday. She said doctors thought the surgery would allow Leon to begin rehabilitation soon and greatly reduce his hospital stay.

According to the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, the accident occurred after 9 a.m. Thursday near K-10's Evening Star Road exit when 20-year-old Rudd Hetrick of Shawnee lost control of his eastbound 1995 Ford after crossing the median in front of the westbound van Leon was driving. The investigating officer attributed the accident to Hetrick's inability to control his car on wet road conditions.

Hetrick, who broke his left arm in the accident, was taken to Olathe Medical Center.

Guntert said a Kansas University student who witnessed the accident called her after learning her number from the Cokers. The student and another passing motorist also called 911, Guntert said.

With the call, she was able to get to the accident scene before the arrival of law enforcement officers or emergency responders, Guntert said.

Her father was concerned his hospital stay will force him to miss this weekend's De Soto Watermelon Festival.

"He said this will be the first one he ever missed," she said. "He told me he wanted someone to video tape the parade so he could watch it."

Guntert said those wanting to send cards to Leon should send them to Saint Luke's Hospital, 4401 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64111.

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