The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 8, 2010

Crash on I-74 kills two

DANVILLE — Two Champaign County people were killed and a third person injured following a noon hour traffic accident along Interstate 74 Thursday.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson identified the crash fatalities as Mark Sjuts, 52, and his son, 23-year-old Chason Cody Sjuts, both of St. Joseph. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The third person in the vehicle, a 21-year-old female, was not identified by Johnson or the state police. The woman was taken from the scene via helicopter to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. The copter arrived a little more than a half-hour after the accident.

State police and Johnson both indicate the woman remains in critical condition.

The accident happened just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the westbound lane of the interstate just east of the Gilbert Street overpass.

Crash reconstructionists with the Illinois State Police remained on the scene through most of the afternoon piecing together the details of the accident. The road was closed off and on as a result of extrication and work at the crash scene.

According to a press release from the Illinois State District 10 in Pesotum, a 2003 Toyota Camry crossed the median and struck the semi head on. The vehicles came to a stop in the median.

Johnson’s office indicated the Toyota may have hydroplaned on the roadway during a heavy rainfall, causing it to leave the eastbound lanes and collide with the westbound semi.

The accident remains under investigation by the county coroner’s office and the Illinois State Police. Autopsies were scheduled for Friday.

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