Fatal crash in Rantoul under investigation
RANTOUL — A Mahomet man died in a two-vehicle crash on the west side of Rantoul early Saturday.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Jason L. Cuppernell, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision with a semitrailer tractor that happened about 4:40 a.m. near the village’s industrial park.
Rantoul police Sgt. Justin Bouse said a semitrailer driven by Jose Estrada, 26, of Schererville, Ind., was facing south on Evans and turning east on to U.S. 136 when a car driven west on U.S. 136 by Mr. Cuppernell reportedly ran the red light and crashed into the semi.
Northrup said it appeared Mr. Cuppernell’s car went under one of the trailers and came out the other side. He remained in the car.
Estrada was not physically hurt and was not issued any tickets.
Bouse said an accident reconstruction specialist from the Illinois State Police is assisting Rantoul police in the investigation. The road was closed and traffic rerouted for several hours Saturday morning as police collected evidence.
Northrup said he learned from Mr. Cuppernell’s family that he was visiting a friend in Rantoul Friday night.
Although he received multiple traumatic injuries, Northrup said an autopsy will be done Sunday to confirm the cause of death. Toxicology tests will be part of the follow-up investigation, the coroner said.