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Interstate 70 reopens to one lane in each direction following tractor trailer accident and fire.


Updated Lawrence Journal-World report

6 a.m. Update: KDOT reports that one lane in eastbound and one lane westbound are now open again. Traffic continues to move slowly through the scene.

Original Report: If you are planning on commuting to work by way of the Kansas Turnpike early this morning, you are going to have to reconsider your route. As of 5 a.m., all eastbound and westbound traffic is being forced to exit the turnpike due to as serious injury accident about a mile east of the East Lawrence Interchange.

Douglas County firefighters from the Lawrence Department, Wakarusa Township fire responded, along with Reno Township Fire of Leavenworth County to the scene of an accident involving a tractor trailer near mile marker 205. The accident was dispatched around 4:20 this morning after dispatchers received numerous calls regarding a tractor trailer crash and fire in the median.

Douglas County Deputies were first to arrive on the scene and were able to report that the driver was out of the truck and reporting that the tank trailer is empty. Lawrence firefighters arrived on the scene to report that the tractor trailer had rolled to its side and sustained "major damage."

The driver of the truck has been transported by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

Incident command reports there is "significant debris" across the highway and a "diesel fuel leak." A Kansas Turnpike Authority representative has been requested to respond to the scene. It is unclear how long the roadway will remain blocked.

More on this accident can be found from Operation 100 News on Twitter or check back to this report as it will be updated as new details become available.


Mike Edson 5 years, 5 months ago

The news out of K.C. is saying the accident happened west of Lawrence. Which is it, east or west? Does this affect a morning commute to K.C. using the east Lawrence turnpike gate?

Mike Frizzell 5 years, 5 months ago

I noticed this as well edson. The accident is near mile marker 205, which is EAST of both Lawrence turnpike interchanges.

The east gate is mile marker 204. Mile marker numbers increase as you move eastbound. Between the 204 and 212 the Interstate is closed, so yes you will need to find a different route this morning.

Ken Miller 5 years, 5 months ago

Would you guess at this point that the Turnpike east of Lawrence will remain closed (eastbound, at least) past 7:00 a.m.?

Mike Frizzell 5 years, 5 months ago

I just updated the post. KDOT says that there is one lane in each direction open now. Still unclear when the accident will be all cleaned up.

willie_wildcat 5 years, 5 months ago

I drove by the scene at about 0710 this morning and they had the tractor trailer upright on the West bound side of I-70. I could see where diesel had spilled all over the road and the smell was pungent. Treatment was down to absorb it and a Caterpillar was there to help clean up the road. We moved at about 50-60 mph on the right lane.

Did the semi lose control because he plowed that median like it was nothing.

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