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URBANA — Two people were injured and a load of beans was spilled on Interstate 74 in a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning east of Urbana.

Illinois State Police said about 10:40 a.m., William Emerick, 55, of Fairmount was driving a semitrailer west on I-74 about 3 miles east of the Illinois 130 exit when his rig ran off the road and entered the median.

The trailer struck the center support beam of the overpass, spitting it open and spilling beans on the road.

Meantime, an eastbound car driven by Colleen Wilkes, 23, of Schaumburg was hit by a sand-filled crash barrel near the overpass that went flying when the semi hit it.

Both Emerick and Wilkes were taken to an area hospital with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Emerick was ticketed for improper lane usage.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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