URBANA — A University of Illinois student killed in a traffic accident on campus Wednesday morning was a junior majoring in agribusiness, UI officials said Thursday.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago died at 10:39 a.m. Wednesday at Carle Foundation Hospital's emergency room after being hit by a pickup truck as she and another woman walked along Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. An autopsy will not be performed.
The second woman hit by the truck, UI junior Spandana Mantravadi, 20, remained hospitalized at Carle with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries. She was listed in stable condition on Wednesday night.
The Urbana Police Department and the Champaign County Coroner's Office are actively investigating the accident.
The man believed responsible, Willie Craft Sr., 58, of the 1200 block of West Hill Street, Urbana, has been issued traffic tickets for driving without insurance and improper lane usage, Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said.
Earlier, Urbana police Lt. Bob Fitzgerald said at 9:53 a.m., a pickup truck headed south on Lincoln was reported to be driving erratically.
Police said the truck left the road several times, drove across a sidewalk, and hit street signs.
It sideswiped a UI Facilities & Services truck and continued for a few more blocks before jumping a curb and striking the two women. The driver of the UI truck was not injured.
A six-block stretch of Lincoln from Nevada Street south to Pennsylvania Avenue was quickly closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic and surrounded with crime scene tape as investigators tried to piece together what happened.
Officers from the UI Police Department assisted with road closure and traffic control.
The women were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, while Craft, who was driving an older Chevrolet pickup, was questioned by police.
There was a preliminary suggestion that the man may have suffered from a medical condition, but Fitzgerald said that had not been confirmed. Morgan said Craft, who has diabetes,- was taken to Carle for a blood test, as is required under Illinois law any time a person is injured in a traffic crash. He was then released from police custody.
The truck came to rest about 50 yards north of Pennsylvania Avenue against the retaining wall alongside the sidewalk that runs by Illini Grove.
The normally bustling area was quiet at class change time during the noon hour Wednesday.
Pedestrians were being allowed to cross Lincoln in one area just south of McKinley Health Center.
It was reopened to traffic about 2:45 p.m., Fitzgerald said.
Police ask that anybody with further information call the Urbana Police Department at 384-2320 or remain anonymous by calling Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-TIPS or text “CCTip” plus the information to CRIMES (274637).