Mayor and Chief assure concerned residents, dangerous stretch of road is being made safer

COLUMBIA, IL - Drivers tired of a deadly stretch of roadway in Illinois continue to demand improvements and better safety.

Their outrage comes after 41-year-old Emily Webb, a mother traveling with six kids northbound on Route 3 was killed in a crash.

Police said 86-year-old Donald L. Eccher of Millstadt was driving a grain truck when it hit the family's SUV.

New Athens resident, Nicole Warnecke told Fox 2 on Monday that she gets chills every time she drives along Route 3 near Veterans Parkway.

“I was involved in an accident and I’ve been through what I’ve been through,” Warnecke said, “and I just don’t want to see what happened to me happen to anybody else.”

Warnecke said that she considers herself to be lucky having survived that accident two years ago.

“I just want to know when is it going to stop?” she continued. “How many people are going to have to get hurt and suffer or possibly die for something to change?”

A concerned Facebook citizens group called, Citizens Demanding Change on Illinois Route 3, Columbia, Illinois is behind the push for change.  

“We are asking for more speed traps or something to help control the speed,” said Emily Ceradsky, “because I know people are going 55, 65, when it’s 45.”

Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson said that driver concerns are not falling on deaf ears.

“The Aldermen, myself and police officers and the chief, we have all been listening to the citizens and everybody had great ideas and we will bring those forward to IDOT,” Hutchinson said.

Police Chief Jerry Paul said that drivers should notice more police presence.

“We are placing more marked cars at those lighted intersections at heavy traffic times,” Paul explained, “we’ve had our speed trailers out where it indicates the speed limit and also tracks the speed of the cars.”

Paul went on to say that even though speed cameras are being considered, the technology is legally not possible for Monroe County adding that it’s something state legislators will have to look into.

The chief said that he has been compiling data on all crashes and is sending the information to the Illinois Department of Transportation.