Fuel leak caused vehicle fire on Johnson Drive in Merriam Tuesday morning, police say

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Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 3 p.m.

Merriam Police say a fuel leak caused a vehicle fire Tuesday morning that prompted a temporary shutdown of Johnson Drive at Interstate 35 in Merriam.

What happened: Merriam Police at just after 8 a.m. Tuesday tweeted a picture of what appeared to be a minivan with flames shooting out from its undercarriage and from the area around its driver’s side back wheel.

  • “Car fire Johnson drive and I-35. Please avoid the area as all lanes of Johnson Drive are closed under I-35, “Merriam Police tweeted.
  • The image showed the minivan parked on Johnson Drive, facing west under the I-35 overpass.
  • Another image submitted to the Post by a person who says they know the van’s owner showed the van from the back with more flames surrounding its rear.

The latest: By 9:04 a.m., police tweeted that Johnson Drive was back open for traffic.

  • In an email response to questions, Maj. Chris Brokaw with Merriam PD said nobody was injured during the incident.
  • Brokaw said a fuel leak was the cause of the fire.

GoFundMe: Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been started by a user identifying themselves as Chris Brunner of Overland Park to raise money for the van’s owner.

  • “One of my employees had a car fire. They have little ones and will be needing a car to carry the family,” the page’s summary says.

About the author

Kyle Palmer
Kyle Palmer

Hi! I’m Kyle Palmer, the editor of the Johnson County Post.

Prior to joining the Post in 2020, I served as News Director for KCUR. I got my start in journalism at the University of Missouri, where I worked for KBIA, mid-Missouri’s NPR affiliate. After college, I spent 10 years as a teacher and went on to get a master’s degree in education policy from Stanford University.