The Right Attitude is Everything

By Herman Jones

Putting the Brakes on Fatalities is a journey not just a destination.  Ironically, many people journey to a destination.  During my years as a law enforcement officer I have witnessed numerous crashes when drivers neglected precautionary measures that prevented them from reaching their physical destination.   
Many years ago, I spent one typical hot summer training as a recruit state trooper in Wichita, Kansas.  During this time a good friend, a state trooper, was involved in a horrific two-vehicle, head-on crash.  The incident took place on a local two-lane roadway.  My friend was patrolling southbound at 55 mph (the legal speed limit) in his marked state trooper vehicle.  Unfortunately, he encountered a pick-up truck traveling northbound but in the same lane.  The pick-up was attempting to pass another northbound vehicle at the crest of the hill at a speed greater than 55 mph.  My friend attempted to brake and veer to the right shoulder to avoid the crash.   Eventually the two vehicles collided and ended with one fatality.  Investigators of the crash estimated the combined impact speed of the two vehicles was no less than 110 mph. 
Opportunely, my friend survived the crash with only a scratch above his eye, a bruised shin and one overnight stay in the hospital for medical observations.  The patrol vehicle was a total loss with only the right tail light undamaged.  My friend’s survival was greatly attributed to using his seat belt conversely, the other driver lost his life as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol and not wearing his seat belt. 
I am confident this crash could have been avoided if the one driver had used good judgment by not driving under the influence.  Some drivers neglect preventive measures due to the wrong attitude. The right attitude is everything when operating a vehicle safely. 

Herman T. Jones is the Shawnee County Sheriff



  1. Betty Oliva9/25/2015

    Wearing seat belts, saves lives. Making good choices, is taking responsibility. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Steve Swartz9/25/2015

    It's amazing your friend survived that crash, Sheriff. Without a seatbelt he probably doesn't. It's such a simple way to better your odds of surviving a crash. Thanks for sharing that story.

  3. Anonymous9/25/2015

    It's unfortunate someone had to lose their life. The more stories that are told and the more we can preach about the importance of seatbelts and cautious driving, less fatalities will occur. Thank you for taking the time to write the blog and share your story. And thank you for all you do to keep the public safe.

  4. Anonymous9/25/2015

    I found it interesting that you used the word "opportunely" rather than the more commonly spoken "luckily". While your friend is lucky to have survived with such few injuries, he didn't rely on luck -- he took the necessary precautions to keep himself safe. We should all take his lead -- and set such an example! Thanks for sharing your friend's story.

  5. Great job, Sheriff!

  6. Anonymous10/01/2015

    Thanks for sharing this story and the best news that your friend was wearing a seat belt and not seriously hurt. It is very sad that the other driver in the crash made several bad decisions which ended up costing him his life.
    Larry Emig
    Kansas & ASCE - T&DI Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day Committee

  7. I can not believe this, I am shaking my head right now. In the year of 2016, who is still driving drunk on these highways? To make matters worse, who doesn't understand the dangers of not wearing a seat belt either? Some people just are not meant to enjoy the gift of life because they put no value in it at all.

    Faith Brady @ KHunterLaw

  8. On the subjects of seat belts, I am certainly one of the lucky ones who would not be taking to you had it not been for that little belt. A drunk driver ran a red light and plowed into me head on one night. Without the seat belt, the police officer said that I would have easily been thrown through the glass.

    Modesto Culbertson @ D & Z Law Group