Metro-East News

Man crashes pickup onto steps of Belleville temple; witnesses suspect medical problem

Truck crashes onto entrance steps of Jewish Temple in Belleville

A man slowly drove his Toyota pickup through the intersection at North Illinois and East C Streets then crashed onto the side entrance steps of the Jewish Temple at North High and East C Streets in downtown Belleville on Saturday afternoon.
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A man slowly drove his Toyota pickup through the intersection at North Illinois and East C Streets then crashed onto the side entrance steps of the Jewish Temple at North High and East C Streets in downtown Belleville on Saturday afternoon.

The white Tundra truck was “barely moving” as it went through the intersection of East C Street and North Illinois Street in Belleville, a witness said, but it soon clipped a light pole and forced itself up onto the porch of a temple.

Witness Kathy Gibbs, of Mascoutah, said the driver appeared to be having a seizure or medical problem during the crash Saturday afternoon. Gibbs and her husband called emergency services, and another witness broke a window to get to the driver.

“He was never alert or conscious,” said Bobby Lynn, of Sparta. Lynn said the man appeared to be injured from the accident. The truck’s airbags had deployed.

Lynn used a post from the broken railing of the Temple Beth Israel at 225 N. High St. to break a back window of the four-door crew cab to get to the driver. He said the driver was moving but not communicating or alert.

“I smelled airbag dust, not alcohol,” Lynn said. He said there was some blood around the man’s mouth, as if he had bitten his tongue.

Belleville police and fire departments responded, and Paule’s towing was removing the truck at about 4 p.m. Police at the scene said the man had been removed by ambulance before their arrival; police could not provide the driver’s name. Witnesses said no one else was in the vehicle with him.

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