Identities released after 5 killed in 6-vehicle wreck on I-70 in - KCTV5

Identities released after 5 killed in 6-vehicle wreck on I-70 in Bonner Springs

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Six vehicles were involved in the wreck, according to an update from authorities. (Submitted/Logan Brown) Six vehicles were involved in the wreck, according to an update from authorities. (Submitted/Logan Brown)
Emergency crews says two tractor trailers crashed, causing the massive fire. (KCTV5) Emergency crews says two tractor trailers crashed, causing the massive fire. (KCTV5)
First responders are calling on heavy equipment to move through the burnt debris. (Submitted/Logan Brown) First responders are calling on heavy equipment to move through the burnt debris. (Submitted/Logan Brown)
BONNER SPRINGS, KS (KCTV) -

The westbound lanes of Interstate 70 reopened early Wednesday morning after being shut down for hours due to a six-vehicle accident that took the lives of five people. 

Six vehicles were involved in the wreck, according to an update from authorities. Emergency crews say two tractor-trailers crashed, causing the massive fire. 

A 2015 GMC Terrain, a 2012 Buick Lacrosse, a 2005 Ford Taurus, a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche and two tractor trailers were involved in the accident.

Investigators say one of the semis came over a slight hill and saw traffic backed up on the road. The driver perceived the traffic late and hit the back of the Terrain. The semi carried through the Terrain and then hit the Lacrosse, the Taurus, the other semi and the Avalanche.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority has identified four of the five victims.

Teresa Butler, 61, of Urbana, IL, was driving the GMC Terrain.

Sheldon Cohen, 83, of Topeka, KS, was driving the Buick Lacrosse. Virginia Cohen, 79, of Topeka, KS, was a passenger in the vehicle.

Ricardo Mireles, 38, of Topeka, KS, was driving the Ford Taurus.

The fifth person who died was Karen Lynn Kennedy, 63, of New Palestine, IN. She was a passenger in Butler’s car.

“It’s a very in depth scene we have a lot of vehicles involved," said Kansas Highway Patrol public information officer Don Hughes. "We are up to six vehicles now.”

First responders are calling on heavy equipment to move through the burnt debris.

Bystanders are shocked after seeing the damage. 

“Unfortunately, it’s obviously a very bad tragedy for somebody and somebody’s loved ones," said Kevin Raasch, who was in the area. 

No hazardous materials were inside the trailers of the 18-wheelers.

New information has been revealed about the driver that caused the crash. Kenny Brezette Ford is from Houston, TX. The 56-year-old has a few marks on his traffic record. In 2015 in Pennsylvania, he pled guilty for disregard of a traffic lane.

Back in 2003, he was arrested in Texas for failing to stop and give information after an accident, for which he was fined and sentenced to community service.

Ford also has a private driving record with the company he works for, and investigators will want to see that.

The company is Indian Creek Express out of Pierce, CO. Its website says they haul refrigerated food across the country with a gross revenue of about $9.5 million just last year.

They run 44 trucks, employee 52 drivers, and the last safety check was just last month, which the company received a satisfactory rating – the highest a company can get.

According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration, about 400,000 large trucks crash, around 88,000 people are injured, and 37 people die every year.

One of the biggest factors in truck crashes is driver fatigue. There are rules and regulations and federal mandatory breaks.

All of these factors will be checked and considered, along with the driver’s route.

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