Metro-East News

Truck rear-ends van, leaving 74-year-old woman dead in Illinois, police say

A 74-year-old woman from Calumet City died Saturday and five others were hurt, including a 9-year-old girl, when their van was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Effingham County, the Illinois State Police reported.

Mary J. Gates was airlifted from the scene to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where she was pronounced dead, according to a news release. The girl also was airlifted to the hospital.

Gates was a passenger in a Dodge Caravan driven by Marchelle M. Collins, 40, of Chicago.

Collins was traveling south on I-57 at a slower speed in the right lane because the van was using a spare tire. A tractor-trailer driven by Terrell Marshawn Ross, 41, of Hopkins, S.C., struck the rear of the Dodge Caravan at about 1:35 a.m., police said.

Van passengers Olivia Collins, 39, of Chicago; Willie Mae Butler, 57, of Chicago; and a preteen boy from Chicago were taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Effingham. Michael M. Anderson, 18, of Chicago was transported by ambulance to Carle Foundation Hospital.

The conditions of the crash victims were not available Saturday.

Ross was not injured and he was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, police said.

Mike Koziatek: 618-239-2502, @MikeKoziatekBND