A 76-year-old Hamel man was killed and an Illinois trooper suffered injuries Friday when the Hamel man’s vehicle slammed into the rear of the trooper’s squad vehicle, which was parked in a construction zone on Interstate 55 near Edwardsville.
The driver of a gray Chevrolet Impala was traveling on Interstate 55 near milepost 23 in the construction zone, where there was heavy traffic. The Impala’s driver, whose identity was not immediately released, hit the trooper’s SUV.
The trooper’s vehicle was stationary, assisting an Illinois Department of Transportation construction crew while they were fixing a guard rail. The trooper had the emergency lights activated on her vehicle, according to Trooper Calvin Dye, a spokesman for ISP.
A preliminary investigation suggests the Hamel man may have had a diabetic attack behind the wheel, Dye said. The man passed out, Dye said.
“He struck the rear of the trooper’s Ford Explorer that was fully marked,” Dye said.
The Hamel man was flown to Saint Louis University Hospital in critical condition, and later died, Dye said. The trooper was “walking and talking, but she was complaining of serious neck and back pain,” Dye said. The female trooper, who is also from Hamel, has been with ISP for about three years, Dye said.
“There’s nothing you can do when a medical emergency happens,” Dye said.
The name of the trooper was not immediately released.
The accident occurred about 12:30 p.m.