Victim in July 17 chain-reaction crash on I-435 dies of injuries

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Willie “Darryl” Wilson. Photo via GoFundMe

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The fiery crash along Interstate 435 on July 17 has claimed one life.

Willie “Darryl” Wilson, 54, passed away early Saturday, weeks after he was pulled from his SUV that was one of the five vehicles involved in the chain reaction crash. His SUV caught fire and Wilson suffered horrific burns, and has spent the past few weeks in a hospital undergoing treatment to save his life.

Witnesses at the time said it was a miracle no one was killed. On Saturday, Wilson succumbed to his injuries.

Bryson Clinkenbeard was heading home on I-435 when he witnessed the crash and heard several explosions.

“Giant fireball. I saw one of the semi trucks and a vehicle slam into the back of it,” Clinkenbeard said in the days following the crash. “Everything was just like engulfed in flames. Scared me to death.”

“And I saw that truck driver jump out right away, he just went right into action but there was no way he could go back to help anyone because that explosion was between him and any vehicles behind,” another witness said.

It happened in the construction zone along I-435 between Antioch and 69 Highway. Overland Park police said even without the construction, this is a dangerous area. I-435 and Metcalf is the number one crash site in Overland Park.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Wilson’s family pay for his medical expenses.