Deadly crash shuts down I-70 near Kansas City amid snowy conditions

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
February 16, 2019, 12:09:09 PM EST

One person died after a major pileup on Interstate 70 just east of Kansas City on Friday afternoon.

Over a dozen vehicles were involved in the crash, including numerous tractor trailers. The westbound lanes of I-70 were shut down for several hours as crews responded to the crash and worked to clear the highway.

It is unclear what caused the deadly crash, but snow was falling across the region at the time the accident occurred.

“Snow began falling in western Missouri during the mid-morning time frame. Snow quickly became heavy with snowfall rates of one inch per hour through midday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

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“In addition to the snow, it was very cold, 10-15 degrees F, while the snow was falling. So, snow was able to immediately accumulate on roadways.” Samuhel added.

“If there was heavy traffic present, it’s not out of the question the traffic caused the snow to melt. Once melted, it would refreeze almost instantly producing icy conditions,” Samuhel said.

(Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

(Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

(Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

(Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Crews moving a car following an accident on US 54. (Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Crews on the scene of an accident on US 54. (Photo/Missouri State Highway Patrol)

This is just one of several accidents reported across the region on Friday afternoon.

Missouri State Highway Patrol has responded to at least 300 service calls, over 140 slide-offs and 65 crashes, as of Friday evening.

A multi-vehicle crash left several people injured on Interstate 49 early Friday afternoon near Peculiar, Missouri.

Between 3-6 inches of snow was measured across much of the region late Friday.

The region can expect more snowy, icy conditions as storms roll through into next week.

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