Longview woman in grave condition after accident on U.S. 45 at I-57

Longview woman in grave condition after accident on U.S. 45 at I-57

PESOTUM — A 77-year-old Longview woman, described by her daughter as "vibrant" a week ago, is in grave condition at an area hospital following a car crash last week on U.S. 45 at Interstate 57 near Pesotum.

Cindy Dillman of Longview said her mother, Katherine Schwartz, was en route from Tuscola to meet a friend in Savoy on March 21 when her car collided with another that was exiting I-57.

She sustained a broken neck and two broken arms in the crash but is now critically ill at Carle Foundation Hospital following complications that occurred during surgery to repair the neck fracture.

Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard said the man who collided with Schwartz was ticketed for failure to obey a stop sign.

Theodore Rund, 81, of Philo was headed south on I-57 when he exited at U.S. 45 at 10:48 a.m. that Wednesday. After he left the interstate, he collided with Schwartz, who was headed north on 45.

Lillard said the trooper's preliminary report suggests that Rund got off I-57 prematurely and was going to cross U.S. 45 and get back on the highway via the entrance ramp on the other side.

Instead, the right front of his Toyota Echo clipped the front bumper of Schwartz's Lincoln MKZ, pushing both cars to the east side of U.S. 45.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, but the impact caused air bags in both cars to engage, Lillard said.

Rund declined medical attention but Schwartz was taken to Carle by ambulance. The trooper reported that she was alert and speaking to him.

Dillman said her mother, who was alone in her car, had just been to visit the chiropractor in Tuscola and was heading to Savoy to see a movie with a friend.

"She was a vibrant 77-year-old. She goes (to the chiropractor) three times a week. It's like a social thing for her," she said. "Dad died last July after being ill a year. This is part of her routine. They were going to see 'I Can Only Imagine.' She was excited about seeing it.

"She was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Dillman said.

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jparks wrote on March 28, 2018 at 10:03 pm

This is an interesting story from Mary Schenk.

How many accident stories appear in the News Gazette when the accident occurred seven days before the story?

How many times during an accident investigation story are family members interviewed at the scene?  None.  But seven days after the fact?  The daughter is singing like a bird.

Who instigated this story Mary?  It happened seven days ago.  

It is interesting that the daughter mentioned Chiropractor numerous times.  "She goes (to the Chiropractor) three times a week.

Can you say L A W S U I T.

This story is different than any I have seen from this paper.

Mary Schenk:  What drew your attention to this story?  It wasn't your police scanner.  If it had been we would have heard about this seven days ago.

Mary?  Why now?  Who told you about this?

rsp wrote on March 29, 2018 at 1:03 am

Did it occur to you that the police report was just filed and she followed up? Or did it occur to you that Mary was on vacation and maybe she just got back so she covered it now? Hard to track folks down when you are soaking up the sun, wouldn't you agree? You really should try to be better informed. She did tweet a photo from her trip.

jparks wrote on March 29, 2018 at 8:03 am

That did not occur to me.  It didn't because Mary isn't the only reporter capable of writing an article.  It didn't because there has never been an accident reported seven days after it occurs.  Unless of course you can present evidence of anything similar to this.

jparks wrote on March 29, 2018 at 9:03 am

I worked a minor accident years ago in a 25 MPH zone.  It was a chain reaction "fender bender" and occured because it was raining, the roads were slick, traffic was bumper to bumper and the first car stopped and four others behind could't stop in time.  Very little damage to any vehicles involved.

What made it a serious accident was the fact that one of the vehicles hit another hard enough to set off her air bag.  The air bag broke her neck and she was pronounced dead at the scene.  Years later I was notified by the Toyota Motor Corporation that they were being sued by the victims family and they wanted everyone involved to testify.

This smells a lot like that case.

But if we get nothing else from this particular accident at least we know what movie she was going to see and that she was excited about seeing it.  You know, all the relevant stuff.

rsp wrote on March 29, 2018 at 2:03 pm

But at least you know you're important. Do you know what a human interest story is? It's about people, their lives, interests.