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URBANA - A Kentucky man who failed to slow for traffic in a highway construction zone hit a van, touching off crashes that resulted in three people being injured and four vehicles damaged.

Illinois State Police at Pesotum said James Massey, 30, of Louisville, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident that happened about 2:20 p.m. Friday on Interstate 74 westbound, two miles east of the University Avenue exit.

Massey was driving a pickup truck west when he ran into the rear of a transit mini-van driven by Terrence Wathen, 57, of Champaign. Wathen and two vehicles in front of him were slowing to stop because traffic was backed up due to construction.

After Wathen's van was hit, it was pushed into the rear of a truck-tractor driven by Coletta Lowry, 52, of Columbus, Ohio. 

After hitting Wathen, Massey lost control of the truck, which rolled over, hitting a car driven by Cashmir Bunch, 25, of Decatur. 

Police said Massey, his passenger, Ventara Massey, 29, and Wathen were taken to area hospitals for treatment but their injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

Massey also had two children in his truck. Bunch had three children in  her car. They all apparently were not physically harmed. 

All the drivers wore seat belts, police said. 



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).