Man dies after medical emergency leads to crash with Illinois State Trooper

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - There was yet another crash in an Interstate 55 construction zone in Illinois that has become notorious for serious accidents. In this instance, an elderly man was killed and an Illinois State Trooper was injured. The trooper had to be extracted from her vehicle after Friday's crash.

Investigators said the accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. on southbound I-55 near Illinois 143 in the construction zone.  Lanes of the highway were closed and traffic was backed up in the area.

A 76-year-old man driving a gray Chevy Malibu had a medical emergency behind the wheel. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a state trooper's SUV, which was stationary with its lights flashing to alert drivers to an IDOT crew working on a guardrail. After hitting the trooper’s SUV, the Malibu crashed into the back of an IDOT truck, hitting its attenuator, which is essentially a crash cushion; that attenuator worked as everyone survived the crash.

The driver of the car was airlifted to a St. Louis-area hospital in critical condition but was later pronounced dead. The state trooper involved in the crash told EMS at the scene that her neck and back were hurt after the accident. She was taken to a local hospital to be checked out and treated for serious injuries.

Dye said the injured trooper had been with the ISP for four years.

It was about the 10th serious crash in the past eight months in the same six-mile stretch of I-55, said Trooper Calvin Dye Jr., a spokesman for the Illinois State Police. The same six-mile construction zone saw another crash that shut down the interstate last month. Two other multi-car pileups left five people dead late last year.