It took emergency workers a while to find the driver involved in a fiery crash that snarled Kansas City’s rush hour traffic Wednesday morning.
But when a Mission police officer went to the driver’s home, police learned what had happened by talking with the driver’s mother.
The mother told police that the driver, a 21-year-old man, had called her after the crash. She said he fled the scene because he was afraid he was in trouble.
The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the pre-dawn crash and was taken by a family member to a hospital. Police said they will issue tickets to the driver for careless driving and leaving the scene.
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The wreck occurred about 4:30 a.m. near the I-35/Interstate 670 split. A gray Ford Edge was seen traveling north at high speeds, according to police.
The car left the road and crashed into guardrail, bursting into flames. It then went over the guardrail and down a steep embankment.
A witness told police that that the SUV overturned a couple of times and then landed on a fence, completely engulfed in flames. The witness didn’t see anyone exit the vehicle.
When firefighters arrived, they were unable to find the driver. Police used a drone to search for anyone who might had been ejected from the SUV, but the brush was difficult to see through.
A police officer went to the SUV owner’s home in Mission to check to see if the owner knew what happened. That’s when the officer found the driver’s mother who said she had spoken with her son about the crash.
Portions of the highway were closed for nearly five hours while emergency crews investigated the early morning crash. The closed lanes caused traffic to back up beyond the Seventh Street Trafficway in Kansas City, Kan. All lanes were reopened by 9:15 a.m.
Because of the backup created by the crash, Kansas City Scout tweeted at the height of rush hour that drivers should find an alternate route.