UPDATE: One victim in this crash has been identified as 50-year-old Robert Piper of Blue Springs.
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Two people are dead after a crash involving two cars near eastbound Interstate 70 and Interstate 470.
Around 2 a.m. Monday, a Chevrolet Equinox was traveling eastbound on I-70 and left the roadway, according to Independence police. The Equinox hit a rock embankment and flipped back onto the roadway.
Independence Officer Jack Taylor said the Equinox had been stolen, and it had five teens in it.
“Once that vehicle came to rest, another motorist happened to see the crash and stopped to check on the occupants of that vehicle,” Taylor said in an interview with FOX4 Monday.
Police say a Ford F-150 was also traveling eastbound on I-70 and hit the Equinox as it was flipping into the roadway. An uninvolved driver got out of his car to help and was hit.
“I’m assuming the F-150 probably just didn’t see what was going on or wasn’t able to react in time enough to avoid the crash,” Taylor said.
A passenger in the Equinox died from their injuries at the scene. The uninvolved driver also died at the scene. Taylor says anytime someone loses their life, it’s terrible.
The Equinox was a reported stolen vehicle, according to IPD.
“This guy’s just probably on his way from point A to point B and you know, just wanted to stop and check and make sure everybody was okay after seeing this vehicle roll over,” Taylor said. “I can imagine what that would look like, and then you know, he becomes a victim himself.”
The surviving teens in the Equinox were all taken to the hospital. Investigators will be working with the Jackson County Family Court to determine what happens to the teens. Taylor says the interstate is never a good spot to get out of your car.
“Even when we conduct car stops on I-70 and things like that, we do them a little bit different just because of the traffic and how fast traffic’s going and things like that,” he continued.
“That time of the morning, there’s not a lot of traffic, but there still is quite a bit and it’s traveling at 70 miles an hour, 65-70 miles an hour and so, any time you’re out on foot on an interstate where speeds are that great, you just have to be really really careful.”
The Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office would be the one to charge the driver of the F-150. No word whether that’s going to happen. Eastbound I-70 was closed for about four and a half hours Monday morning.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.