Metro-East News

Three people killed in three days — state police urge people to drive safely

Distracted driving PSA: ‘Famous Last Words’

In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. If you text and drive, your next message may be your last.
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In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. If you text and drive, your next message may be your last.

Illinois State Police are urging drivers to use caution after investigating three fatal metro-east crashes in three consecutive days.

There have been at least 3,615 serious crashes in ISP’s District 11 so far this year, ISP Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said Thursday. Of those, at least 40 have been deadly.

District 11 covers Monroe, Madison, St. Clair, Bond and Clinton counties.

On Tuesday of this week, a 37-year-old Red Bud man died after his car swerved and hit a garbage truck on eastbound Illinois 156 near Trout Camp Road in Monroe County. The crash briefly shut down the state route.

Then, on Wednesday, a 60-year-old Marissa man was killed in a single vehicle accident when his pickup truck ran more than one hundred feet off the roadway on Illinois 13 near Balwin Road in St. Clair County. The man’s car hit a tree, overturned and exploded, Trooper Dye said.

Finally, on Thursday, Interstate 255 was shut down for hours as crews attended to a fatal crash near Columbia involving improper lane changes. The male driver of a Toyota was ejected and pronounced dead on the scene by St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr.

In two of the three accidents, those who died were not wearing their seat belt, Trooper Dye said.

“Better than 50 percent of the drivers in this area drive recklessly,” he said Thursday. “If everyone followed what they were taught in driver’s education classes when they began driving, we’d have a lot less of that.”

Trooper Dye suggested drivers slow down and drive the speed limit, stop tailgating other drivers, wear their seat belts and avoid distracted or impaired driving.

“Most motorists don’t realize how often serious injury or fatal crashes happen until it’s them or their loved ones involved in it.”

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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