TOPEKA (KSNT) – A woman has died after a Sunday evening rollover crash that shut down lanes of a major highway between Topeka and Manhattan, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
KHP crash records indicate that Autumn Johnson, 21, of Wasilla, Alaska, died from her injuries after being hit by a vehicle. A sheriff’s deputy at the scene said a box truck hit Johnson while she was trying to help another driver who had gotten into a separate rollover wreck.
First reports of the initial crash came in around 3:30 p.m. The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office told KSNT News the rollover wreck involved one black car, and happened near I-70’s exit to West Union Road. The car was heading eastbound when the driver lost control, rolling over at least once before stopping in the median.
Multiple drivers then parked on the side of the highway to try and help, including Johnson. When she tried to cross the highway to get to the rolled car, a box truck struck her. The sheriff’s office said Johnson was in critical condition and the driver of the rolled car had minor injuries. Both were taken to a Topeka hospital.
Photos taken at the scene on I-70 paint a picture of a major traffic jam at Exit 350 earlier in the day, as Shawnee County deputies tried to corral cars off of the highway.
The eastbound lanes stayed open while the westbound lanes were shut down at West Union Road at 4:15 p.m., according to a KSNT reporter at the scene. Around 4:35 p.m., emergency crews opened up one westbound lane again. A tow truck arrived to move the rolled car from the scene of the crash, and emergency crews then reopened all westbound lanes.