Three northbound lanes of I-35 near the downtown loop were closed for nearly five hours Wednesday morning after a car drove over the guardrail.

The wreck happened about 4:50 a.m. near West Pennway Street.

Police say a 21-year-old man, driving a gray Ford Edge when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle left the road, hit the guardrail and burst into flames.

A witness said the vehicle rolled and then landed on a fence near the interstate.

Emergency crews were unable to find the driver and the Kansas City Police Department drone was brought in to help with the search.

Police later learned that the man was taken to an area hospital by family members and had suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The man later told his family that he fled the scene because he was afraid that he would get in trouble. He will be issued tickets for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

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