Man killed in fiery tanker crash on Topeka Turnpike identified

A tanker truck bursts into flames along the KS Turnpike through southeast Topeka Friday...
A tanker truck bursts into flames along the KS Turnpike through southeast Topeka Friday morning, June 28, 2019. (Photo submitted)(WIBW)
Published: Jun. 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM CDT
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The man killed in a semi-tanker crash in Topeka Friday morning has been identified.

Authorities say Johnnie O'Dell, 50, of Buckner, MO, was killed.

The deadly tanker fire closed the Kansas Turnpike through Topeka, as well as a busy city street that passes over the highway.

The wreck was reported around 8:45 a.m. in the Eastbound lanes near mile marker 180. The location is between the East and South Topeka interchanges.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the truck was eastbound on I-470 when, for unknown reasons, it started traveled onto the outside shoulder and collided with the barrier wall. It then went into a ditch and hit a tree, came to a rest and caught on fire.

A 13 NEWS viewer captured video of the wreck, showing the tanker off the road in the trees, engulfed in flames. Explosive pops are heard coming from the truck.

According to Martin, the tank on the semi was not breached. He did not know what was being hauled.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority closed the highway both directions between East Topeka and South Topeka. All lanes reopened around 3 p.m.

Emergency officials also had closed SE 29th between SE California and SE Croco as a precaution, since the street passes over the Turnpike in that stretch.

It is not known what the tanker was transporting at this time.

Multiple agencies are responding to the scene.