Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

May 20, 2013

5 killed in I-70 van crash

VANDALIA — A van carrying church members returning from a California gathering careened off of a southern Illinois freeway and overturned several times Monday, killing five people and sending six others to hospitals, authorities said.

State Police Sgt. Mark Zimmerman said five people died at the scene of the accident, which occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on Interstate 70 just west of Vandalia, about 70 miles east of St. Louis. Many of the victims were ejected from the 15-passenger van, Zimmerman said.

Details about what caused the crash or who owned the white 2002 Dodge van, which had no decals or displayed markings, were not immediately available.

Shawn Carter, a Fayette County sheriff's deputy, told The Associated Press that it appears the van - headed eastbound from what he called a religious event in California - initially swerved onto the freeway's grassy median, then veered back across both lanes of the interstate highway before flipping several times.  The van came to rest less than 10 feet from the highway's shoulder, he said.

"There weren't any other vehicles involved," Carter said. "I'm not sure what caused this."

The van had Maryland license plates, though Carter could not immediately say whether the vehicle belonged to a church or was a rental.

Four survivors were listed in fair condition at Vandalia's Fayette County Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Lyn Gartke said. Two of those patients were transferred to a Springfield hospital and another to a St. Louis-area one, Gartke said. The two other survivors were taken to Greenville Regional Hospital, where their medical statuses weren't immediately available.

Both eastbound lanes of the freeway remained closed as of mid-afternoon Monday as two crash-reconstruction officers with the state police tried to sort out how the crash happened.

Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen didn't immediately return calls for comment.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.