The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 11, 2013

Accident closes part of Route 1


HOOPESTON — A traffic accident involving a farm tractor and a semi closed part of Illinois Route 1 for most of the day on Tuesday.

The accident took place just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection with County Road 3870 North. The Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department shut down a two-mile section of the road from County Road 4000 North to County Road 3800 North for well into the afternoon hours.

Hoopeston firefighters and Illinois State Police responded to the scene.

Hoopeston Fire Chief Cliff Crabtree said his department responded to find both vehicles on fire at the scene of the crash. He said a couple of passersby helped pull one of the crash victims from the tractor.

According to Illinois State Police, a semi tractor-trailer driven by 39-year-old Roger Baldwin was headed north on Illinois Route 1, approaching a tractor driven by 53-year-old Wendy Gernand from behind.

As Gernand attempted to turn left, Baldwin’s semi struck the tractor, pushing both vehicles into a concrete bridge rail on the east side of the road.

Baldwin and a passenger, 24-year-old Maleesa Jones, were taken to Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital in Hoopeston where they were treated and released. Gernand suffered burns as a result of the accident and was taken to Hoopeston hospital before being airlifted to a burn center near Chicago.

Crabtree said a couple of passerby assisted in removing Gernand from the tractor.

Crabree said diesel fuel and a farm fertilizer had been spilled at the scene as a result of the crash, so the Vermilion County Haz Mat Team was called to the scene for clean up.

Baldwin was issued citations for improper passing at an intersection and no valid registration.