'Tired' driver seriously injured in crash near Edwardsville

News-DemocratSeptember 11, 2013 

A Collinsville man is in serious condition after his car struck a construction barrel on Interstate 270 and then was hit by a tractor-trailer early Wednesday near Edwardsville.

The man, who was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu, told police he was driving tired, which is why he struck the barrel.

The Malibu was traveling in the eastbound lanes of the interstate just before 7 a.m. when it struck the barrel on the shoulder of the road and spun out of control, said Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. The car stopped facing north in the eastbound lanes of the interstate and was hit head-on by an oncoming semi-tractor trailer.

"There was absolutely nothing the driver of the semi could do to stop," Dye said.

The driver of the semi, a Centralia man, was not cited in connection with the crash. The crash happened in a construction zone but no workers were present at the time, Dye added.

The driver of the Malibu was removed from his vehicle by emergency responders and airlifted to a St. Louis hospital, where he remained in serious condition Wednesday afternoon. The driver of the semi-tractor trailer was not injured.

The name of the driver of the Malibu has not yet been released to the public.

One lane of traffic was closed for about an hour while emergency personnel responded to the accident and cleaned the scene. The other two eastbound lanes remained open but traffic was slowed.

"We encourage motorists traveling on the interstate to pull off at the nearest rest area if they feel tired to rest and prevent accidents like this from happening," Dye said.

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