A car with six people in it was southbound on Interstate 57 just north of Effingham when it was struck early Sunday morning in the rear by a tractor trailer, killing a 74-year-old woman from Calumet City and sending the others to area hospitals.
The semi, driven by 41-year-old Terrell M. Ross from Hopkins, South Carolina, hit the car at about 1:35 a.m. The car, driven by 40-year-old Marchelle Collins of Chicago, who was traveling at a lower speed due a spare tire being on the vehicle. Ross, who was not injured, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed, according to a spokesman for the Illinois State Police at Effingham.
The car, which was heavily damaged, was knocked into the median. The truck came to rest on the shoulder, the ISP spokesman said.
Mary Gates was airlifted from the scene to Carle Hospital in Champaign but was pronounced dead on arrival.
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The other passengers, all from Chicago, were airlifted or taken by ambulance to nearby hospitals. This included a 9-year-old who was also airlifted to the Effingham hospital. The conditions of the injured were not immediately available.