While waiting on pins and needles for more results in our I-70 survey — to toll or not to toll — we motor on.
Here are a couple of items hot off The Star’s website.
:: The Star’s Tony Rizzo had a very interesting online story today (it will be in the printed edition tomorrow), reporting that the driver of the 18-wheeler that 24-year-old Shante Hopkins’ car on Interstate 435 last month “did not brake or attempt evasive action.”
From the time I read about this horrible crash — which took the lives of Hopkins, three of her four children and a friend of hers — I wondered how in the hell the truck driver could just plow into Hopkins’ car, which had apparently slowed to a stop, or near stop just north of the Eastwood Trafficway exit. She was southbound in the far right lane. Authorities are still investigating what caused her car to lose speed dramatically.
Rizzo’s story doesn’t shed any light on what might have been going on in the cab of the truck, which a 56-year-old Minnesota man was driving. But a Kansas City Police Department preliminary report says the driver had a “straight line-of-sight to the car” and “neither adjusted his speed nor altered his course in order to avoid the collision.”
…I’m having trouble comprehending that. What the hell was the driver doing? Was he texting? Was he masturbating? Was he watching TV? What the f___?
Rizzo reported that the driver did not appear to police to be impaired and that he tested negative for d.u.i. In addition, the police department’s commercial motor vehicle investigation section inspected the truck and found nothing awry.
I hate to say it but this could simply be a case of “big-truck syndrome” (a condition I just came up with) where some big-rig drivers are convinced they own the road and that everybody else should just “get out of my way.” We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all been subjected to their hurry-up tactics.
If that is the case, then what this driver might have done was simply roll up on Hopkins’ car with the intention of goosing her along a bit, thinking she would just put the pedal to the metal and move out.
I gotta tell you, that’s my theory: The Hopkins crew was done in by a trucker who fancied himself king of the road and didn’t really give a shit about the little maroon Mazda he was barreling toward.
:: The Star also reported today that the former Metcalf South Shopping Center “will most likely become a mixed-use destination, featuring retail, dining, office space and multi-family living.”
That’s what a development company, Lane4 Property group, told the Overland Park City Council Monday night. Lane4 and the Kroenke Group bought the property last February, and the two companies have been researching possible uses for the center, which has only one big store left — Sears, at the south end of the center.
I hope it works out. I always found the mall to be accessible, and parking was no problem. I shopped periodically at Macy’s and still shop at Sears, and I occasionally go to movies at the Glenwood Arts Theatre on the back side of the center.
Too bad the Glenwood is closing. Brothers Brian and Ben Mossman, who operate the theater, often screen outstanding independently produced films that you can’t see anywhere else, except at another of their theaters. (After the Glenwood closes, they’ll be down to two, the Rio and the Leawood.) Lane4 might bring in a movie theater, but it will probably be one of the big theater chains, which for the most part go with the pablum that the major studios dish out.
…For nostalgia’s sake, here’s a look at Metcalf South in its prime, probably in the ’70s, judging from the cars.