Metro-East News

Boy riding in tractor-trailer is killed in Southern Illinois crash

A 12-year-old boy who was a passenger in a tractor-trailer was killed in a crash Thursday morning that closed both lanes of an interstate for several hours.

The driver, whose relationship to the boy was not disclosed, was extricated and flown to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The boy’s identity was not released. The driver was Robert James Petersen, 34, of Killeen, Texas.

The boy was riding in a 2018 Freightliner truck when it went off the road and overturned. The crash happened on southbound Interstate 57 in Union County, near milepost 23, and closed both southbound lanes for several hours.

One lane had reopened as of about 4 p.m. Thursday. Illinois State Police said in a news release that the right lane would remain closed until the cleanup was complete.

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