June 25, 2021

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I-70 reopens following 7-vehicle wreck that claimed woman’s life

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Authorities said at least seven vehicles were involved in a wreck on I-70 that claimed one life.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday near the 3rd St. exit near downtown Topeka.

Trooper Don Hughes said a commercial vehicle carrying metal pipes was headed eastbound when it lost its load into the westbound lanes. One of the metal pipes struck the driver’s side of a Ford Expedition, then landed on top of a Kia Forte.

A fourth vehicle was unable to stop and struck the back of the Kia sending it spinning and crashing into the outside concrete bridge rail.

KHP said due to the severity of the collision with the pipe, the driver of the Kia, 29-year-old Brooke Rees was pronounced dead at the scene. They said no one else was hurt.

KHP initially closed all westbound lanes, with traffic exiting at 8th St. and re-entering at 1st. Eastbound traffic continued through using one lane, until just before 7 p.m., when it was closed as well.

The other vehicles caught in the debris included another big rig, an SUV, two pickups, and a car.

The highway remained closed while authorities investigated and cleared all the vehicles and debris. Hughes said all lanes reopened around 10:15 p.m.

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