Illinois State Police responded to reports of a stopped vehicle on southbound Interstate 55 on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 and arrived at the scene to find an auto accident had happened. After investigating, police discovered that a Hyundai had stopped in the right lane of the interstate without its lights on and a semi tractor trailer travelling in the right lane had collided with the rear end of the car.
The truck drove over the car and the trailer on the semi pushed the car across the left lane of traffic and through the guardrail. The car then jumped the median and landed on the northbound side of the interstate. The 21 year-old female driver of the Hyundai was not wearing her seatbelt and flew out of the vehicle.
The semi continued southbound but went over the median in the road, into an embankment and eventually landed in a creek that runs under the interstate. The 67 year-old male truck driver was also ejected from his vehicle. Police were not able to determine whether he was wearing his seat belt due to the extent of the damage to the truck in the crash.
Police pronounced both drivers dead at the scene of the accident. Authorities were not able to determine why the Hyundai had initially stopped in the road and were continuing to investigate. Traffic was reduced to one lane for five hours on northbound Interstate 55 and completely diverted from southbound Interstate 55 while authorities investigated and cleared the scene.
This accident is a tragic reminder of the dangers that people face every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. A routine trip that a driver has taken several times before can turn fatal when the unexpected arises. It serves as a warning for all drivers to remain alert and vigilant while behind the wheel.
Source: ChicagoTribune.com, "Two dead in fatal crash near Lincoln," May 9, 2012.