He was almost home when police said his car left the roadway, crashed into a ditch and rolled over and ejected him, causing life-threatening injuries.
A 26-year-old man was hurt in the single car crash just a quarter of a mile from his Smithton home Thursday night.
The driver, who Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye declined to identify, appeared to be talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash, Dye said.
The accident occurred on Illinois 159, near White Oak Drive, near Smithton, at about 11:42 p.m. Thursday.
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The black 2006 Volkswagen was headed north when the car left the road, crossed the shoulder and struck the ditch, Dye said. The car rolled over and went through some trees, where it came to rest. At some point, Dye said the driver, who was not identified, was ejected. The trooper found the driver laying on his back a few feet from his car.
It did not appear the man was wearing a seatbelt, Dye said.
He was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville but was transferred by helicopter to Saint Louis University Hospital.
His injuries are considered life-threatening, according to police.
Dye reminded drivers to put down their phones and buckle up.