Coroner identifies woman who died in I-74 incident

Coroner identifies woman who died in I-74 incident

UPDATED 8:25 p.m. Monday

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign County coroner’s office has identified a 46-year-old Champaign woman who apparently jumped to her death from a bridge over Interstate 74 in Champaign on Monday afternoon.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Stephanie S. Wallace of Champaign, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:10 p.m. Monday.

State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said METCAD dispatchers received several calls around 12:45 p.m. that a woman was on the Neil Street bridge.

Emery said the woman then jumped off the east side of the overpass, landing on a van traveling east on Interstate 74 driven by David C. Smithenry, 42, of Champaign.

After hitting the van, the woman rolled to the south side of the road.

Emery said no other vehicles struck Ms. Wallace.

Smithenry was not injured.

Northrup said an autopsy on Monday afternoon indicated that Ms. Wallace died from multiple blunt force injuries.

“The preliminary investigation indicates Ms. Wallace may have jumped from the overpass,” Northrup said in a written release.

Emery said a crash reconstructionist from the state police, other state police investigators and Champaign police are investigating the incident, and Northrup said his office is also investigating.

Traffic was backed up in the eastbound lanes of I-74 for more than an hour, but both lanes were reopened about 2 p.m.


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