Updated: Dropped cigarette distracted driver in I-57 crash, police say

Updated: Dropped cigarette distracted driver in I-57 crash, police say

UPDATED 11:53 a.m. Tuesday.

BUCKLEY — A truck driver apparently distracted by a dropped lit cigarette caused an accident in Iroquois County Monday night that shut down a portion of Interstate 57 for several hours, police say.

A release from state police at Ashkum said that police were called to a crash involving two commercial semitrailer trucks on I-57 southbound near Buckley at 6:24 p.m. Monday.

Police said Ricky Hall, 56, of Cleveland, Tenn., dropped a lit cigarette in his lap and was trying to get it when he lost control of his rig and hit the west guardrail. Hall then came back into the lanes and overturned, hitting another truck that was in the passing lane near its fifth wheel.

That caused that truck's trailer to break away from the power unit. It then caught fire and caused Hall's truck to catch fire as well.

The passing truck was driven by David Horosz, 55, of Amherst, Ohio.

Both he and Hall were taken to area hospitals, police said.

Hall was treated and released from Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Horosz was taken to Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka for treatment of what police described as minor injuries.

The highway was shut down in both directions from Buckley to Onarga until about 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said charges are pending.

The Buckley, Loda, and Onarga fire departments, as well as Onarga and Gilman police and the Illinois Department of Transportation helped state troopers with the crash.