The Rantoul Press
UPDATED 2:50 p.m. Saturday
RANTOUL — An accident on Interstate 57 north of Rantoul claimed the life of a Chicago man Friday afternoon.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified the man killed in the multi-vehicle collision as Keith C.S. Terry Jr., 22.
Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters said a semitrailer truck driver was slowing due to an earlier wreck in the southbound lanes of the interstate when he apparently started the chain reaction wreck.
According to a state police report, a truck tractor flat bed semi trailer driven by William Michael Weaver, 53, of Lebanon, Mo., hit a four-door passenger car driven by Mr. Terry, pushing it into the rear of another truck tractor flatbed semi trailer driven by Michael Stephen Jackson, 33, of Yuba City, Calif. at 2:24 p.m. Friday.
Weaver’s truck also sideswiped a van driven by Sergio G. Romero, 33, of Chicago.
The accident occurred about 5 miles north of Rantoul.
Rantoul firefighters cut Mr. Terry out of the destroyed car. Neither semi driver was injured, Waters said.
Police ticketed Weaver for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
The southbound lanes between Paxton and Rantoul were closed and traffic rerouted for several hours. Both lanes of traffic were reopened about 6 p.m.
The fatal accident was the third of three accidents on I-57 near Rantoul Friday afternoon.
In the earllier accident for which the semi driver was slowing, two vehicles, one a semi truck, collided about a half-mile south of the scene of the third accident at 1:10 p.m., causing the semi to roll over.
According to state police, Ulises Hurtado, 34, of Cicero, was driving south on I-57 when he felt a vibration in the right rear side of his vehicle. Hurtado applied the brakes to stop, but the right dual tires came off.
Hurtado lost control of his vehicle, which made contact with a mini-van driven by Myeunga Yang of Savoy, before overturning in the southbound lanes.
The tires then crossed the center median into the northbound lanes, where they struck a Jeep driven by Kelli Nicole Arigi.
Hurtado and a passenger, Juan Sanchez, 34, of Cicero, were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana where they were treated and released.
Yang; her passengers, Soo Bin Rhim, 28, of Irvine, Calif., and Young Moon Choi, 48, of Savoy; and Arigi were not injured, police said.
At 1 p.m., Rantoul firefighters were called to the northbound lanes of I-57, 4 miles south of Rantoul, to a grass fire that had been started by an auto.
Waters said he is not sure how the fire started. It had been put out before firefighters arrived.