Motorist killed in wreck near Rantoul

An accident on Interstate 57 north of Rantoul claimed the life of a motorist Friday afternoon.

Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters said a semitrailer truck driver was slowing due to an earlier wreck in the southbound lanes of the interstate.

According to a state police report, a truck tractor flat bed semi trailer driven by William Michael Weaver, 53, of Lebanon, Mo., hit a four-door passenger car, pushing it into the rear of another truck tractor flatbed semi trailer driven by Michael Stephen Jackson, 33, of Yuba City, Calif. at 2:24 p.m. Friday.

Weaver’s truck also sideswiped a van driven by Sergio G. Romero, 33, of Chicago.

The driver of the four-door passenger car, Keith C.S. Terry Jr., of Chicago, was killed as a result of the crash.

Mr. Terry had to be cut out of his vehicle.

The accident occurred about 5 miles north of Rantoul.

Rantoul firefighters were called to extricate the victim.

Neither semi driver was injured, Waters said.

Police ticketed Weaver for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The southbound lanes between Paxton and Rantoul were closed and traffic rerouted. Both lanes of traffic were restored about 6 p.m.

It was the third of three accidents on I-57 near Rantoul.

In the second accident for which the semi driver was slowing, two vehicles, one a semi truck, collided about a half mile south of the scene of the third accident at 1:10 p.m., causing the semi to roll over.

Waters said there were no injuries in that wreck.

According to state police, Ulises Hurtado, 34, of Cicero was driving south on Interstate 57 when he felt a vibration in the right rear side of his vehicle. Hurtado applied the brakes to stop the vehicle, but the right dual tires came off the vehicle.

Hurtado lost control of his vehicle, which made contact with a mini-van driven by Myeunga Yang of Savoy, before overturning in the southbound lanes of Interstate 57.

The tires then crossed the center median into the northbound lanes, where they struck a Jeep driven by Kelli Nicole Arigi.

Hurtado and a passenger, Juan Sanchez, 34, of Cicero, were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital. Information on their conditions was not available on Friday night.

Yang; her passengers, Soo Bin Rhim, 28, of Irvine, Calif., and Young Moon Choi, 48, of Savoy; and Arigi were not injured, police said.

At 1 p.m., Rantoul firefighters were called to the northbound lanes of I-57, 4 miles south of Rantoul, to a grass fire that had been started by an auto.

Waters said he is not sure how the fire started. The blaze had been extinguished when firefighters arrived.


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