3 Detectives Injured When KHP, TPD Vehicles Collide On I-70

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Kansas Highway Patrol vehicle directing traffic around a rollover accident on eastbound I-70 Tuesday afternoon was hit by a Topeka Police vehicle.

The initial accident happened around 2:30 pm near the Gage Blvd. exit. An SUV was on its top, near the center median barricade. The driver, 77-year-old Leon Thompson of Topeka, was not seriously injured.

The left eastbound lane was closed while authorities cleared the wreckage. For a short time, they had traffic exit at Gage then get back on the highway to avoid the accident scene.

As authorities were preparing to clear the scene, a Kansas Highway Patrol Motorist Assist pickup was hit by a passing Topeka Police Department Ford Taurus.

The KHP crash log shows the driver of another truck swerved suddenly to avoid the KHP truck, which was in the left lane, with its emergency lights on. The TPD car, following behind, couldn't swerve or stop in time.

Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones told 13 News the driver had the option of hitting a trooper along the roadside or the KHP vehicle. The driver in the TPD vehicle chose to hit the KHP vehicle.

TPD Detectives Lance Green and Jeri Cole were taken to a local hospital by ambulance with minor injuries. A third detective in the vehicle, Troy Willard, went to the hospital by private vehicle to get checked out.

Cole was the only one still hospitalized Tuesday night. She was listed in satisfactory condition.

The KHP trooper, Michael Marnach, Sr., was not hurt.

The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office will investigate the secondary accident, since it involved the other law enforcement agencies.