Accident Injures 5, Shuts Down Interstate

Law enforcement was called to the westbound lanes of I-70 between Wanamaker and Fairlawn at about 1:35 p.m. Thursday. There was a one-vehicle accident that occurred initially which was worked by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Hazel Murphree, 79, of Valley Falls over corrected while merging lanes, and hit the center wall merging onto I-70 from Fairlawn.

The second vehicle accident was worked by Topeka Police.

Two vehicles stopped just east of the first accident. A third vehicle was coming to a stop and a semi behind the third vehicle attempted to stop, jack-knifed and went into the ditch, striking the third vehicle, a Dodge Dakota.

The Dakota then struck the two vehicles, a Dodge Charger and a Toyota Prius.

The two occupants of the Dakota pick-up were transported to a local hospital by AMR with non life-threatening injuries. They have been identified as Thomas Wieland, 27, Valley Falls, and Christina Faust, 28, Valley Falls.

The driver of the Prius, James Webb Jr., 62, Tecumseh, was transported by private vehicle.

KHP says Murphree and her passenger Karen Murphree, 53, were taken to the hospital with injuries as well.

Westbound lanes of I-70 were closed until about 2:30 p.m. when one lane of traffic opened. Both lanes were open at around 3 p.m.

The accident remained under investigation as of Thursday evening.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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