UPDATE: As of 12:30 p.m. Monday, State Avenue was reopened. Part of 75th Street was still closed due to utility repairs.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A multi-vehicle crash in Kansas City, Kansas, has sent six people to the hospital Monday and closed State Avenue in both directions, police say.
The crash happened on State Avenue near 75th Street. The police department closed both directions of traffic on State Avenue from 75th to 78th streets for over 7 hours.
Neighbors told FOX4 around 4 a.m. they heard what sounded like a bomb going off.
“I just heard, it sounded like a bomb going off. That’s the only thing I can say,” said Jason Pierce, who lives nearby.
When officers arrived, they learned two SUVs had crashed, leaving all six people in the vehicles injured. Five of the people had serious injuries but have since been upgraded to stable condition; the other was critically injured.
KCK police initially said they believed all the victims were adults. Since then, they clarified that none of the victims are under 16, but some of the occupants were teenagers.
Police said both drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles, and a few other passengers were thrown from the vehicles.
KCK police spokesperson Nancy Chartrand said there is a lot of debris and significant damage to the vehicles. Chartrand said one of vehicles caught fire after rescue crews got everyone out.
Some of the wreckage was thrown more than 100 feet away. One of the SUVs involved also knocked down a light pole, and crews have been working to repair the traffic signal on State Avenue.
With all the occupants in the hospital, police are investigating and working to document the crash. They suspect excessive speed might have played a role in the wreck.
“These accidents, sometimes, especially when speed is involved — and that’s a possibility in this case based on what these vehicles look like,” Chartrand said. “It’s very hard to tell because of the way the vehicles end up landing. So they are in the process of doing that reconstruction and talking to anybody who may have been in the area and witnessed something.”
Detectives are using video scanners to help them determine how the crash happened. It’s not known whether a traffic camera or surveillance camera nearby may have captured the incident.
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