No injuries, but 4 apartments without heat and daycare playground damaged after crash, Lawrence police say

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No one was injured, but gas service was shut off for four apartments after a vehicle crashed into the Sonic on Sixth Street, passed through a daycare’s playground and ended up against a nearby apartment building.


“The passenger told us he wasn’t sure what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle,” according to Facebook post from the Lawrence Police Department. “The driver is elderly, and officers are not investigating drugs or alcohol impairment as a cause.”

Police were called to the scene just before 6 p.m. Monday, where they found that the driver began in a Sonic stall, went forward rather than in reverse, and hit the restaurant, according to the post.

“He then reversed and struck a fenced in garbage area, went back into drive and drove over a retaining wall and through two chain-linked fences,” according to LPD. “He ended up in the La Petite playground, damaging some of the equipment, then went over another retaining wall and eventually came to rest against an apartment building’s wall, damaging its gas meter.”

Police and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical then evacuated residents because of a strong gas odor, according to the post, and the building manager took the residents to dinner at a nearby restaurant while crews got the gas turned off and allowed the building to air out.

The Sonic was open for business Tuesday morning, according to the post.

The map below shows the Sonic and La Petite.

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