Big rig’s load pins driver on I-35 near 75th Street, triggering rush hour accident

The storage tank being transported on the back of the tractor trailer shifted forward and hit the cab, pinning the driver inside. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

A Johnson County, Missouri, man was seriously injured in a crash on southbound Interstate 35, which snarled traffic for several hours Wednesday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the crash occurred at approximately 3:57 p.m.

Troopers say a 1998 Freightliner was southbound on I-35 just south of 75th Street when the tractor-trailer’s load became unsecured, shifting forward, and pinning the driver. The tractor-trailer then rear-ended a mini-van, which was pushed into the back of an SUV. The tractor-trailer was hauling an oxygen storage tank.

Overland Park firefighters responded to the crash scene and worked for about five minutes to safely extricate the driver. The man, identified by troopers as a 40-year-old man from Centerview, Missouri, was transported by Johnson County Med-Act to the Overland Park Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

The driver of the mini-van, a 55-year-old Shawnee woman, and the 21-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, woman behind the wheel of the SUV were not injured. Troopers say all three drivers were wearing seat belts.

The crash forced troopers to close all southbound lanes of I-35 at 67th Street. The closure caused traffic on I-35 to back up beyond Johnson Drive. It also caused traffic problems on Antioch Road, where traffic was solid from 75th Street back to 67th Street.

All lanes of Interstate 35 reopened around 6:30 p.m.