Professor writes letter to Bardo about safety concerns after death of staff member hit by car


Brian Hayes

The memorial near the site of where staff member Kathy Hull was hit by a car. Hull later died of cardiac arrest as a result of the injuries.

Wichita State professor Kirsten Johnson sent a letter to WSU President John Bardo expressing safety concerns following an incident where a WSU staff member was hit by a car at a crosswalk last week. Kathy Hull died Monday morning as a result of her injuries.

Johnson is a graphic design professor in the WSU art school, where Hull worked as the visual resources coordinator.

Johnson urged Bardo to make changes to the campus in light of what happened to Hull. The subject line of the email reads: “This time, resulting in death.”

“I am concerned that unless something is done, there will be more incidents like this,” Johnson wrote in her letter.

WSU Director of News and Media Relations Joe Kleinsasser said the accident is under investigation. He said once the investigation is complete, the information would be shared with the District Attorney’s office to determine potential charges. Kleinsasser said that the driver of the vehicle was a student.

Johnson suggested the university install speed bumps on campus and change the speed limit to 5-10 mph. The current speed limit on campus is 20 mph.

“We, as a community, need to be more concerned about our overall safety,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson said in her letter that she spoke with Interim Provost Rick Muma about the issue.

Johnson said Muma informed her that the university was having road engineers look into the “disastrous crosswalk design” as well as the exit from campus onto Hillside “which has a blind left turn.”

Johnson also mentioned an incident about two years ago when a faculty member was hit by a car at a crosswalk on campus. The woman survived, but went through “major rehab” after the accident. Johnson said she was present in the aftermath of the accident, minutes after the woman was hit.

Campus police cited the “near fatal accident” as one of the reasons they began issuing traffic citations last semester.

“I searched for ANY info about the accident through all of WSU communication entities after the accident, but never found mention of the trauma,” Johnson wrote.

Muma and Kleinsasser were included in the email, which was sent Monday night.

“Kathy Hull was a creative individual who cared about the students she served and who always had their best interests close to her heart,” Johnson wrote.