Illinois Auto Accident Kills Two

By November 25, 2007Traffic Safety

A Southern Illinois auto accident killed two sisters on Interstate 64 near Scott Air Force Base. The accident occurred when an Illinois State Police trooper heading to an accident, was cut off by another motorist, crossed and slammed into an oncoming car.
The Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell, 29, was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where he was hospitalized for serious injuries. The injuries were said not to be life-threatening. Mitchell was traveling east on I-64, with lights and siren activated, responding to the report of an accident with injuries and people trapped on Illinois 4.
Near Illinois 158, another motorist cut Mitchell off and he took “evasive action” to avoid a collision, police said a witness reported. Mitchell then crossed the median into westbound traffic, hitting one vehicle head-on. Two other westbound vehicles also were involved in the crash.
Police are asking for the public help in finding the car that cut off Mitchell and are seeking any witnesses to the crash. Anyone who may have seen the accident is asked to call Special Agent David Fort at 346-3766.
An Illinois State Police reconstruction team is investigating the cause of the accident. The patrol car contains what is similar to a black box in a plane, recording such information as speed and how long brakes were applied. That information has not yet been analyzed.
The accident Friday was the third fatal crossover accident in the metro-east in less than a month:
• Lindsey N. James, 20, of Bethalto, was killed in a fiery crash Oct. 25 after her car was clipped by another as they were traveling north on Interstate 255 just south of Collinsville Road, police said. James’ car swerved off the highway, crossed the median and was struck by oncoming traffic. She had been married less than a month.
• Waynette Poynter, 31, of Nixa, Mo., was killed and three people were injured Oct. 26, when Poynter, who was traveling east on Interstate 64, crossed into the westbound lanes and struck an oncoming pickup truck at Green Mount Road.
This type of tragedy can be avoided if people pay attention to emergency vehicles and move to the side of the road. Also be sure to wear your seat and drive the speed limit.