A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper and a second driver were injured Sunday in a crash that closed a busy North Topeka street for several hours.
With lights and sirens on, the trooper was northbound on N.W. Rochester Road at 2:30 p.m. when it collided with a blue Chevy Camaro exiting the Walmart parking lot, said KHP Lt. Bryce Whelpley. The gray KHP interceptor jumped the curb, going over a grassy median and into the parking lot on the west side of the Walmart where it struck a parked gray Hyundai SUV. That collision pushed the SUV into a red car parked next to it.
The trooper and the driver of the Chevy were both transported to a local hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening, Whelpley said. Details about the crash remained vague in the hour after the collision including the speed of the patrol car and why its lights and sirens were activated.
A stop sign lay on the ground by the patrol car, which had several airbags deployed and heavy damage. Debris trailed from the middle of Rochester Road, where the Chevy sat across the northbound lanes facing east, to the patrol car. A dozen shopping carts were strewn across the parking lot’s entrance to block traffic.
Several Walmart shoppers stopped to look at the crash and officers told those interested in photographing it to stay behind crime scene tape that formed an oblong pentagon around the crash.
N.W. Rochester Road between the Walmart and a Dillons remained closed as KHP investigated the crash. Topeka police officers and Shawnee County Sheriff deputies assisted with traffic control. At 4 p.m., Whelpley estimated the road would be closed for two to three hours.