BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
The driver killed in fatal afternoon crash Wednesday has been identified as a Vermilion County man.
The Vermilion County Coroner’s Office released the name of the driver as 30-year-old Elizandro Solis, Jr. of Hoopeston. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place just before 2 p.m. Thursday on Illinois Route 9, around two miles west of Hoopeston.
An autopsy on Solis was conducted Thursday afternoon.
A witness’ account given to the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department following the accident indicated Solis might have been trying to pass another vehicle at the time of the collision.
A woman also headed eastbound had passed a car when she told deputies she looked in her rearview mirror and saw the Volkswagen Solis was attempting to pass the same car, according to sheriff’s Capt. Dennis Wood. During the attempt to pass, Solis collided head on with the semi.
The semi driver, Wood said, told deputies he was westbound when the Volkswagen appeared in front of him out of nowhere, leaving him no time to react.
The semi driver, Ronnie Hair of Gridley, was taken to Carle Foundational Hospital in Urbana where he was treated and released.
Wood said Illinois Route 9 was shut down for about four hours Wednesday evening because of the accident and resulting fire that engulfed the semi.