TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A Manhattan woman has been identified as the victim in a seven-car crash that closed multiple lanes of I-70 in downtown Topeka Wednesday afternoon, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
First responders pronounced 29-year-old Brooke Rees dead at the scene of the accident. Officers notified both her parents and husband of her death.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol a semi-tractor trailer was traveling eastbound on I-70 in the outside lane when the load the truck was carrying broke free, causing large metal pipes to go over the concrete barrier into the westbound lanes.
Several vehicles traveling westbound were also involved in the accident.
One of the metal pipes hit the window and rear of a 2014 Expedition.
After hitting the Expedition the pipes bounced off the vehicle and landed on top of a 2020 Kia Forte.
A Ford F250 Super Duty pickup driving behind the Kia Forte was unable to stop and struck the rear of the car.
The Kia Forte spun counterclockwise and hit the outside concrete bridge rail. Rees, the Forte’s driver, was wearing a seat belt according to the KHP report, but did not survive the collision with the pipe.
In total, 15 individuals were involved in the accident.
A 1996 1500 Chevy pickup then struck one of the pipes forcing the vehicle into the inside lane before traveling across to the outside lane and becoming disabled.
A 2008 Toyota Camry, traveling westbound, also hit one of the pipes and was disabled.
A 2019 semi-tractor trailer in the westbound lanes was hit in the front by one of the pipes in the westbound lanes.
Officers reported that one of the loose pipes that was struck hit a KDOT guardrail, destroying a section of the rail.