Metro-East News

Pepsi plant CEO from Southern Illinois injured in I-57 rollover crash involving semi

An 82-year-old business executive from Marion was injured Saturday when his Cadillac rolled over after colliding with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois State Police said.

Harry L. Crisp II, who is CEO of the Pepsi MidAmerica bottling plant in Marion, suffered injuries that were not considered life threatening. He was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Crisp’s father, Harry L. Crisp Sr., founded the company in 1936 and Crisp II took over in 1975 upon the death of his father. The company bills itself as the largest individually owned Pepsi bottling plant in the nation.

State police gave this account of what happened:

Crisp was driving a 2008 Cadillac north on I-57 at mile post 50 in Williamson County at 4 p.m. Saturday when a Kenworth tractor-trailer driven by Robert L. Abernathy, 70, of Paris, Illinois, passed Crisp’s car. The truck came back into right lane too soon, and Crisp swerved to avoid the trailer, which was encroaching into his lane.

Crisp overcorrected and struck the right side of the trailer pulled by the Kenworth. The Cadillac left the roadway, rolled over and came to rest upright after striking a tree.

Abernathy and his passenger were not injured. Abernathy received an improper lane usage citation, police said.