FedEx truck crashes Friday morning on I-70 in west Topeka

A FedEx semitrailer crash on westbound Interstate 70 near the MacVicar exit slowed traffic...
A FedEx semitrailer crash on westbound Interstate 70 near the MacVicar exit slowed traffic early Friday in west Topeka.(Phil Anderson)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:40 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A semitrailer crash early Friday caused a major traffic backup in west Topeka. but resulted in no reports of serious injuries.

The crash was reported around 7 a.m. Friday on westbound Interstate 70 at the MacVicar overpass.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the driver of a FedEx truck pulling two trailers stated that he fell asleep at the wheel just before the crash.

The patrol said that when the driver realized the semi was off the roadway, he overcorrected, causing the rear trailer to strike a guardrail on the right -- or north -- shoulder of the roadway, immediately east of the MacVicar overpass.

After it hit the guardrail, the trailer appeared to have separated from the other portion of the semi, which continued a short distance before coming to rest in the right lane on top of the MacVicar overpass on westbound I-70.

The first trailer remained attached to the truck that was pulling it.

Video from Phil Anderson's Facebook live from 7:30 a.m. Friday. FedEx driver falls asleep at the wheel, leading to the crash along I-70 at MacVicar

Meanwhile, the trailer that separated from the semi hit a large metal pole that was holding an elevated highway sign on the right side of the roadway, just east of the MacVicar overpass.

Upon hitting the pole, the trailer split open and its sides appeared to have been peeled back, with cargo spilling out onto the highway and down a steep grassy slope just north of I-70 and east of MacVicar.

“Shortly after 7 o ‘clock, we received reports of a semi crash here on I-70 westbound near MacVicar,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Brock Simone at the scene. “Once we arrived on scene, we talked to the driver. He stated that he fell asleep.

“The driver left the roadway to the right. Once he woke up, he realized he was already on the shoulder. He tried to over-correct. His back trailer caught the guardrail and basically it was destroyed there.”

Westbound traffic on I-70 initially was diverted onto MacVicar, but after about a half-hour was allowed to proceed through the crash scene in the left lane. The crashed vehicles and resulting debris were largely confined to the right lane of traffic.

The Topeka Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, Topeka Fire Department and Kansas Department of Transportation all responded to the crash, as did American Medical Response ambulance.

As crews responded to the FedEx semi crash, traffic on eastbound I-70 in the area wasn’t affected.

Traffic was reported to be open again on westbound I-70 around 9:35 a.m.

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