Amy Cunningham
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The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is awaiting autopsy results and blood draw information from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) before releasing findings on the car crash on Dec. 8 that took the lives of two Gardner residents.
The Sheriff’s Department Accident Reconstruction Team led the investigation into the cause of the accident, a collision between and a full-size pickup driven by Doug Whaley and a passenger car driven by Lisa Apperson that occurred on U.S. 56 Highway at New Century Parkway.
Preliminary results show the truck crossed the center line slamming head-on into the car.  Officials will conclude their investigation once autopsy and blood samples have been analyzed by the KBI.  Ericksn said autopsy and blood results usually take six to eight weeks from the time they were collected to process.
“In the end, the only conclusion that we’ve had is that we didn’t find a cause of the accident to be anything more than the truck crossed the center line; we haven’t been able to determine what caused that to happen,” said Deputy
Tom Erickson of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
Initially the department sought witnesses to the accident, soliciting one specific eyewitness, the driver of a light-colored, full-sized pickup, to come forward.  The department was able to locate the driver of that vehicle who provided information that corroborated tips received from other people in the area at the time of the crash.
Apperson and two of the car’s passengers, six-year-old Cooper Apperson and ten-year-old Hailey Apperson, received injuries in the accident and were hospitalized.  A third passenger in the car, Hannah Apperson, was killed in the wreck.  Whaley received life-threatening injuries and was transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center where he later died.
Funeral services for Doug Whaley were held on Dec. 14 at Bruce’s Funeral Home in Gardner, burial followed at Leavenworth National Cemetery.  Funeral services for Hannah Apperson were held on Dec. 28 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gardner, burial followed at the Gardner Cemetery.