DUI Victim Pushes For Tougher Laws in Kansas

Published: 8 February 2013

(HERINGTON, Kan.) A drunk driving accident leaves a Herington man with only one leg and a lot of frustration with the law.

“The fact that it’s a simple slap on the wrist really aggravates me!,” said Donnie Warren.

Kansas State legislators are looking at changing that. But it’s too late to change anything for Warren. He says what happened to him was no misdemeanor, despite what the current law says.

Donnie and Amanda Warren remember the accident like it happened last night.

“I hear, ‘Oh, God, stop!'” said Donnie Warren, who was trying to help push a friend’s dead truck a few more yards down the road to the driveway.

“All of a sudden I feel the bump of the car hitting,” said Amanda Warren, who was steering the truck.

“Laying there in the middle of the road bleeding,” said Donnie Warren, who doesn’t really remember the impact of the car hitting him. Just the aftermath. “Everybody else was freaking out.”

Warren stayed calm and called 911 himself.

“I was just in so much shock,” said his wife, Amanda Warren. “I didn’t see that his leg was actually off on the side of the road.”

But several miles away at the Morris County Courthouse in Council Grove, the story is much less detailed.

“The State of Kansas vs Rodney William Barber,” announces County Attorney Laura Allen. “It was an injury accident, Your Honor.”

The county attorney and Barber reached a standard plea agreement. The state suggests the minimum sentence, 90 days, for a night the Warren’s relive daily.

“You don’t forget. I mean, you try and move on. You try and keep living your life. But you can’t ever forget,” said Donnie Warren, who often has nightmares and even had to sleep with a nightlight for awhile after the accident.

Rodney Barber hit Warren with his car along a stretch of U.S. Highway 56, just east of Highway 77 in Herington last September. The impact cut Warren’s right leg off at the knee.

Three months in the hospital and countless surgeries followed. Back home his injuries now keep him confined to one small room. He struggles to deal with the emotions.

“Aggravation, and frustration and fear, all rolled up into one little ball,” said Warren.

He believes Barber should face attempted murder charges.

“People make the decision to kill,” Warren said.

The night of the accident Barber’s blood alcohol content was .20, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

“It was his choice to drink that night,” said Warren, “and then drive home. He consciously chose to put not only his life, but the lives of anybody around him in danger.”

by Pilar Pedraza
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

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