FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL (KTVI) – A horrible crash on I-64 in Fairview Heights involving construction workers has killed one person and left four others hurt. It happened Tuesday morning around 9:30 at I-64 eastbound near the Fairview Heights exit.
Investigators say a Michael Jeter, 34, was driving erratically when he reportedly clipped a truck then crashed into into an attenuator on the back of a construction vehicle. An attenuator is a safety device on the back of a construction vehicle. The construction vehicle had been parked on the inside shoulder of the highway.
There were four highway workers injured, either on or near the attenuator. They work for Briteway Striping Services, Incorporated out of New Baden, IL. The owner of Briteway, Tricia Rehkemper, says they were getting ready to put down reflective markers on the interstate when the crash happened.
Two of the three workers were airlifted to Saint Louis University Hospital where one of them, identified as 48-year-old Dennis Beard, died as a result of his injuries.
Another was taken to the SLU Hospital by ambulance. Hospital officials said the two men were scheduled for surgery, but no information on their conditions was available.
A fourth injured worker was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The driver of the car that caused the crash were taken to Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL.
Two men waiting at the hospital told FOX 2 they were Dennis Beard’s nephews, and that they all worked together at Briteway.
No one from the company could be reached for comment, and family and friends at the hospital simply weren’t ready to talk about what happened.
“It’s just too early,” one told us.
Traffic was backed up for miles as authorities completely shut down I-64 east in the area so an accident reconstruction team from the Illinois State Police could investigate what exactly happened. I-64 eastbound reopened at about 2:30 pm. No word yet if the driver of the car will face any charges. Illinois State Police continue to investigate.
Police did receive a call on the erratic driver moments before the crash.According to Beth Kaufman at the Illinois Secretary of State’s office,
Jeter’s license is currently valid and his record is fairly clean. In 2007 and 2008 he received a speeding ticket. In 2010, he received a ticket for failure to yield.
Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Link said, “We did get one call on the guy being erratic but before we could get to that… because we always broadcast erratic drivers…before we could put that out the crash did occur.”
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