Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 19, 2012

Fiery semi crash near Brownstown kills driver

BROWNSTOWN — A St. Louis man was killed in a fiery semi-truck accident just before 2 a.m. Saturday after he collided with a semi in front of him near Brownstown, according to a press release from Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen.

    Due to equipment malfunctions with his semi, Orentio Thompson, 43, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was pulled onto the right shoulder in the westbound lane on Interstate 70 near mile marker 68, approximately three miles west of Brownstown, according to Illinois State Police.

    Thompson attempted to pull back onto the interstate and merge with traffic when his vehicle was struck by 51-year-old Hasib Karahodzic, state police said.

    Karahodzic’s semi burst into flames upon impact and he became entrapped, according to the release.

    Karahodzic’s son was traveling in a semi behind his father and came upon the crash. He exited his truck and attempted to pull his father from the burning truck but was unsuccessful, the release said.

    Karahodzic died in the fire and was burned beyond recognition, according to the release. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:42 a.m.

    Thompson survived the crash and was transferred from the scene with serious injuries to Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia, ISP reported. His condition is unknown because the hospital doesn’t release patient information.

    The crash forced the interstate to be closed for approximately 10 hours. Brownstown and Vandalia fire departments assisted on scene and extinguished the blaze.

    The crash remains under investigation by Bowen and the Illinois State Police. An autopsy was performed Sunday at St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham.

    Bowen will also perform the necessary procedures to confirm the identity of Karahodzic, said the release.

    Thompson was cited for failure to yield when merging with traffic, police reported.

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