Willie “Darryl” Wilson died early Saturday, nearly a month after he was pulled from his burning SUV that was smashed in a fiery chain-reaction crash on Interstate 435 in Overland Park.
The 54-year-old Kansas City resident had been sedated in critical condition at Research Medical Center after suffering horrific burns in the evening rush hour crash that destroyed five vehicles and shut down the highway.
Volunteer rescuers carried Wilson from the growing fire. One of his rescuers said Wilson was engulfed in flames.
“All of the heroic measures had been exhausted, and there was nothing else to be done,” said Brad Bradshaw, an attorney representing the family. “He just couldn’t survive it.”
The July 17 crash occurred along I-435 where a massive repaving project is underway.
Earlier this month, police outlined the sequence of events in the fiery crash.
They confirmed that the afternoon of the crash, traffic along I-435 had come to an abrupt halt. Wilson was able to stop his Isuzu Trooper in time to avoid hitting an automobile transport truck in front of him.
The driver of a tractor-trailer behind him, however, didn’t stop, and Wilson’s vehicle was “sandwiched” between the semi and transport truck and exploded into flames.
The semi also burst into flames. It came came to rest next to the transport truck, which also became engulfed in flames.
A woman driving in a car behind the tractor-trailer avoided the collision, but her car ended up next to Wilson’s SUV and caught fire. She escaped safely.
Wilson was a computer technician for the Johnson County government for 17 years. At the time of the crash, he was headed home on a route he usually avoided.