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Two lives taken by crash in Southern Illinois

An accident in Southern Illinois has claimed the lives of two people. The crash involved a 67-year-old man driving a tractor-trailer and a 21-year-old woman that was in the driver's seat of a stopped car on Interstate 55. The automobile accident happened earlier this month near the west side of Lincoln, Illinois. Both individuals were declared dead at the scene around 11:40 p.m.

Illinois State Police stated that they and the Logan County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the southbound lanes of Interstate 55 to examine a car that had reportedly stopped in the right lane of traffic. At least one witness reported that the vehicle had no lights on.

When deputies from Logan County arrived at the scene, they reported that the vehicle had been involved in a serious crash with a semi-truck. That semi was driven by the aforementioned 67-year-old, and when it crashed into the vehicle driven by the 21-year-old, the car was dragged.

According to the authorities, the truck was traveling south when it crashed into the rear end of the 21-year-old's vehicle. Investigators believe that the truck may have driven over the car, pushing it across two lanes of the highway, through a guardrail and across the median before allowing it to come to a rest on the inside shoulder of the northbound lanes.

The woman was thrown from her vehicle during the crash. Reports indicate that she was not wearing a seat belt at the time. During the crash, the semi went south in the median, down a steep embankment and into a creek located underneath Interstate 55. The 67-year-old driver was also thrown from his vehicle. Investigators could not determine whether the man had been using his seat belt.

The southbound lanes of the interstate were closed, traffic being diverted for approximately five hours. On the northbound side, traffic was reduced to one lane so investigators could better understand the crash.

According to the Logan County coroner, the 21-year-old woman was from Chicago while the driver of the semi was from Kansas.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Chicago woman dies in Downstate crash," May 9, 2012

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