Mission man killed in head-on collision with driver going wrong way on I-35 in Merriam

Merriam crash

A car reportedly going the wrong way on I-35 early Saturday morning after crashing into another vehicle. The driver of this car was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the other car, which had been going the correct way on the highway, was killed. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a driver going the wrong way crashed head-on into another car early Saturday morning on Interstate 35 in Merriam.

At 2:36 a.m., a Mission police officer informed dispatchers of a car driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-35 near I-635.

Recorded radio traffic from the officer indicates the car did not have any lights on and was driving at normal highway speeds. The officer tried to follow the vehicle from the correct side of the highway but lost sight of it near Antioch Road.

At 2:40 a.m., dispatchers began receiving calls reporting a rollover crash in the northbound lanes of I-35 just south of 67th Street.

Arriving officers reported one vehicle had rolled onto its side on the left shoulder, and a second vehicle was on the right shoulder.

Overland Park firefighters and Johnson County Med-Act responded to the scene, where one person was pronounced dead, and another was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.

Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers were called in from off-duty to investigate the crash.

Troopers say a 37-year-old man from Independence, Mo., was driving a 2008 Infiniti passenger car southbound in the northbound lanes of I-35 when he crashed head-on into a northbound vehicle just south of 67th Street.

Troopers have identified the deceased driver as Andrew A. Hixson, 34, of Mission. Troopers say Hixson was driving a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta.

The Highway Patrol’s crash log states that neither driver was wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred.

Police from Lenexa, Mission, Overland Park, and Olathe assisted with closing the northbound lanes of I-35 and U.S. 69 Highway at 87th Street until the Kansas Department of Transportation responded with cones and barricades.

All lanes of the Interstate reopened just before 6:40 a.m.