Overland Park police have video of the exact moment of Monday’s fiery crash on Interstate 435 that shows a tractor-trailer plowing into vehicles in front of it, causing an explosion and fire, police confirmed.
The video shows “eastbound traffic slowing and stopping and a big truck not stopping and continuing into a bunch of (vehicles) and an explosion and fire,” said Capt. Chris Kostelac, a watch commander in the patrol division.
The Star asked for the video but the police department said it could not release it because the investigation was continuing.
Kostelac cautioned that conclusions have not been reached.
“The cause of the incident or who might be issued a citation is all up in the air,” he said.
The chain reaction crash in the eastbound lanes during the afternoon rush hour destroyed five vehicles and sent one man to the hospital with burn injuries. He remains in critical condition at Research Medical Center.
The video Kostelac referred to was captured by an Overland Park traffic camera looking west from a distance.
Kostelac said the video does not have great resolution and does not indicate how fast the truck was traveling or if the driver braked.
That section of I-435 near the interchange with U.S. 69 is in the midst of a large repavement project. Jersey barriers confine the two center eastbound lanes. Kostelac confirmed there was an impact with the barriers, some of which were moved.
Darryl “Willie” Wilson was in one of three passenger vehicles caught in the crash, which caused a huge fire and closed the interstate down.
He was pulled away from the inferno by volunteer rescuers.
Wilson’s family continues to be at his side at Research Medical Center as he fights for his life.