Missing man found alive a week after car crashed into ravine off I-470 in Kansas City

Update: On Thursday police provided more information about the car crash that left Ryan Linneman missing for seven days. That story is posted here.

A 37-year-old Lee’s Summit man who had been missing for a week was found alive Wednesday evening in a wrecked car at the bottom of a wooded gully along a Kansas City highway, police said.

A dirt bike rider found Ryan Linneman’s damaged car in the gully at the bottom of a 50-foot steep incline between Raytown Road and View High Drive. The car had been hidden from the view of passing motorists on I-470, according to police.

Linneman, after surviving the crash and the seven days he remained in the wreck, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, the Lee’s Summit Police Department said.

Missing for a week

Lee’s Summit police had asked for help finding Linneman, who had last been seen driving a tan 2004 Honda Accord on Oct. 9. Police at the time said they had exhausted all normal means of finding a missing person so they were turning to the public for help.

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Ryan Linneman Lee's Summit Police Department

About 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, a dirt bike rider using trails in the area spotted the Honda Accord.

Kansas City police responded to the area and found Linneman, who had life-threatening injuries.

Crash investigators determined that Linneman’s car had been eastbound on I-470 when the car ran off the right shoulder, struck a sign along the road and then traveled down a steep incline. It crashed at the bottom of the gully.

The crash site was about 175 feet off the south edge of the highway and down a 50-foot steep incline, police said. The crash scene was obscured from the view of passing motorists and was only discovered by the motorcyclist.

While Kansas City police didn’t know the man’s identity, Lee’s Summit police confirmed Thursday that Linneman had been found.

Linneman’s family could not immediately be reached for comment. In a post on Facebook, one relative asked for continued prayers for Linneman’s recovery as he deals with multiple medical problems.

“We are blessed to be able to say that he is alive,” the statement said.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.