Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 29, 2008

Man killed in interstate accident

A person is dead and two injured after a chain of accidents on Interstate 57 late Saturday afternoon.

According to Illinois State Police District 12, a vehicle driven by Wendy A. Schnider, 44, of Madison, Wis., was cut off by an unidentified semitrailer, causing the vehicle to swerve on Interstate 57 around exit 160 at about 5:30 p.m. Her vehicle then struck the rear of a semitrailer driven by Milton Muhammad, 43, of Chicago.

About 10 minutes later, both the vehicle and semitrailer were stopped on the shoulder of the interstate when Timothy Meters, 43, of Doniphan, Mo., failed to yield and struck both the vehicle and semitrailer, as well as Muhammad, who had gotten out of his semitrailer to assess the damage to his semitrailer, according to Illinois State Police. Effingham Fire Chief Joseph Holomy said at the time he was struck, Muhammad was talking to the other driver involved in the accident, who was in her vehicle.

Muhammad was pronounced dead at the scene by Effingham County Coroner Leigh Hammer at 6:05 p.m.

Meters and Schnider were transported to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham, for treatment of injuries. Their conditions are unknown because the hospital no longer releases patient information.

Authorities have not determined whether Schnider was injured in the first or second accident. However, she was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Meters was cited for failure to reduce speed and improper lane usage.

As a result of the accidents, Interstate 57 southbound was closed off between Keller Drive and Fayette Avenue for three hours, according to Holomy. In addition, one lane of Interstate 57 northbound had to be closed off because one of the semitrailers involved in the second accident was sticking out into the northbound lane.

Illinois Department of Transportation arrived on scene to fix a road patch a couple feet wide that was damaged and raised between 6 and 10 inches higher than normal, and city and state police were brought out to help with traffic control by rerouting motorists around the southbound lanes. Also, IDOT set up electric signs stating the interstate was closed southbound or were reduced to one lane northbound.

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