Metro-East News

State police release identity of man killed in I-64 car crash near O’Fallon

Demetrius J. Hernandez lay injured in an empty state truck weigh station watching cars drive by with no one stopping because they couldn’t see the remains of the car he was driving which split in half after hitting a light pole, police said.

Hernandez, 25, of Woodlawn, and his passenger, Quovadance R. Cornelius, 25, of Mount Vernon, were both ejected from the car after the crash. Cornelius didn’t survive, said Illinois State Trooper Calvin “Buddy” Dye.

An Illinois State Police investigator, roused from bed to answer a call to go out on a shooting, spotted a bright white color coming from the 2015 Ford Fusion’s airbag about 6:30 a.m. Sunday and stopped, Dye said.

The investigator, Dye said, was a trained emergency medical technician and rendered aid to Cornelius, then turned his attention to Hernandez, who told the agent that he had been laying there for hours, watching cars pass, unable to summon help.

Skid marks at the scene indicated the Fusion left the eastbound lanes on Interstate 64 about a mile west of the Scott Air Force Base exit and drove into the weigh station, past the scales before then striking the light pole. The force of the collision split the car in half, leaving half on the pole and sending the other half 10 to 15 feet away, Dye said.

Hernandez was listed in serious condition at a St. Louis hospital on Sunday, Dye said.

The ISP investigator was on his way to investigate an officer-involved shooting at Club Onyx in Centreville on Sunday morning. Security guards called police after a man began brandishing a gun in the club’s parking lot. A police officer pulled up to the club, at 247 South 88th St. in Centreville, and warned the driver to drop the gun. Dye said the man in the car took off and confirmed the officer fired his gun. The officer was not injured.