Fuel leak caused vehicle fire on Johnson Drive in Merriam Tuesday morning, police say

A vehicle on fire on Johnson Drive under the I-35 overpass in Merriam Tuesday morning. Image via Merriam Police Twitter account.

Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 3 p.m.

Merriam Police say a fuel leak caused a vehicle fire Tuesday morning that prompted a temporary shutdown of Johnson Drive at Interstate 35 in Merriam.

What happened: Merriam Police at just after 8 a.m. Tuesday tweeted a picture of what appeared to be a minivan with flames shooting out from its undercarriage and from the area around its driver’s side back wheel.

  • “Car fire Johnson drive and I-35. Please avoid the area as all lanes of Johnson Drive are closed under I-35, “Merriam Police tweeted.
  • The image showed the minivan parked on Johnson Drive, facing west under the I-35 overpass.
  • Another image submitted to the Post by a person who says they know the van’s owner showed the van from the back with more flames surrounding its rear.

The latest: By 9:04 a.m., police tweeted that Johnson Drive was back open for traffic.

  • In an email response to questions, Maj. Chris Brokaw with Merriam PD said nobody was injured during the incident.
  • Brokaw said a fuel leak was the cause of the fire.

GoFundMe: Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been started by a user identifying themselves as Chris Brunner of Overland Park to raise money for the van’s owner.

  • “One of my employees had a car fire. They have little ones and will be needing a car to carry the family,” the page’s summary says.