Police identify man killed after vehicle falls over bridge on 71-Highway

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are investigating a fatal traffic accident in which a vehicle went off a bridge and was discovered Monday morning in Kansas City, Mo.

On Tuesday, police identified the victim as 60-year-old Michael Blackwell of Kansas City, Mo., but they said they still don't know when the actual crash happened.

Kansas City police said workers from Kissick Construction were going through their scrap yard looking for some pipes, when they spotted the mangled wreck of a vehicle and called 911. Police said it appears the crash happened some time ago, perhaps more than 24 hours old.

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Crews retrieved the vehicle after it fell off the bridge.

Officers said they can't yet determine what type of vehicle crashed, but there is at least one occupant who is dead.

Police said there are concrete jersey barriers on each side of the 71-Highway bridge and they've been able to determine that the vehicle was traveling southbound on 71 when it hit the barrier and jumped over it, falling off the left side of the bridge and plunging to the ground below.

Traffic investigators said they have seen vehicles jump over jersey barriers, but never on a bridge like this.

Sgt. Bill Mahoney with KCPD said crews are working to remove the vehicle from the scrap yard. He said that jumping a barrier is rare, but does happen from time to time.

"There could be a lot of factors going on to allow a vehicle to do that. It has to be a larger vehicle," Mahoney said, adding, "Vehicles can drive up the side of the concrete. Whether that happened or not is still something that we're just going to have to take a look at and determine at a later time."

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A fatal crash happened on a 71-Highway bridge near the 85th Street exit.

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