UPDATE: Five dead in fiery multi-vehicle crash on I-70 near Bonner Springs

The crash closed the Kansas Turnpike for hours

Marc LaVoie
July 12, 2017 - 6:50 am

KMBC Channel 9 News


The Kansas Highway Patrol says five people died in a multi-vehicle accident that closed Interstate 70 west of Bonner Springs.

Four of the crash victims names have been released: Teresa Butler, 61, of Urbana, Il; Sheldon Cohen, 83, and Virginia Cohen, 79, of Topeka; and Ricardo Mireles, 38, of Topeka. A 63-year-old woman also died, but her name had not been released as of 10am Wednesday.

The patrol says the Kansas Turnpike was closed after one of the tractor-trailers involved in the accident around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday caught fire. Six vehicles, two of them tractor-trailers, were involved in the crash.

A semi struck a car and an SUV and then struck another semi, investigators said. Two people in the car and two people in the SUV were killed. Highway workers discovered two more vehicles and one more body as they cleared the wreckage.

"When I hit traffic, I just thought, you know, rush hour," said one man who drove up on the scene. 

One lane of eastbound lanes reopened about 4 p.m. Tuesday but westbound lanes remained closed as rush hour began Wednesday morning.

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