Metro-East News

Pickup driver flown to hospital after rear-ending semi on I-55 near Hamel

A driver had to be extricated from the pickup he was driving Tuesday after he rear-ended a tractor-trailer on southbound Interstate 55 near Hamel.

The stretch of I-55 where the crash occurred is near a construction zone where vehicles have to merge down to one lane.

Illinois State Police Captain Tim Tyler said the crash occurred at about 6:30 p.m. The victim was identified Wednesday as Andrew D. Lane, 25, of Chaffee, Mo. Tyler said Lane was airlifted to a St. Louis-area hospital.

Lane was traveling south on I-55 at mile post 27 in his 2016 GMC truck. He was just north of the construction zone, Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said.

Dye said Lane was driving at full speed when he rear-ended the semi. He was in critical condition Tuesday evening, Dye said.

The driver of the semi is from Alton, Texas, and was driving slowly because of the construction zone. He was not injured, Dye said. Other traffic in the area was also moving slowly, according to Dye.

Dye said the most common type of crash in and around a construction zone is a rear-end crash. “People drive at full speed and do not have enough time and space to brake,” he said.

On Friday, a 76-year-old Hamel man crashed into a state trooper’s squad car in the same construction zone. The man later died at a hospital.