Fiery crash backs up I-70 traffic during Friday rush; no major injuries

Friday, September 6, 2013 | 9:10 p.m. CDT
In late Friday afternoon traffic on Interstate 70, just east of the Highway 63 interchange, Briana Swift's 2001 Saturn station wagon, right, was rear-ended by a pickup. The collision sent her vehicle spinning into another car, left, before stopping in the median where it caught fire. One person suffered minor injuries, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer said.

COLUMBIA — A fiery accident involving three vehicles backed up traffic on Interstate 70 near the Highway 63 interchange late Friday afternoon.

The accident resulted in one minor injury, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer said.

Briana Swift, 21, was driving from Kansas City to visit her boyfriend in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., when her car was rear-ended by a pickup truck as she slowed when she encountered rush hour traffic.

The impact caused her car to spin into the median, she said, catching on fire. A white Chevy Impala also caught fire as it swerved to avoid Swift's 2001 Saturn LW1 station wagon. The Impala was not struck in the crash, Columbia Police Officer Lori Simpson said. Swift was not hurt.

Fraizer said that the Fire Department received a call about the crash at 5:24 p.m. and that the fire had been extinguished about 10 minutes later.

About 6:30 p.m., grass in the median was charred and smelled of gasoline. The asphalt was wet from fire hoses.

Swift remembered looking in her rear-view mirror and seeing a white pickup coming fast, so she knew she would be hit.

She said she was grateful that no one was seriously hurt. She lost everything in the car, including her cellphone and a brand-new pair of shoes.

Missourian reporter Allie Hinga contributed.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

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