VALMEYER, Ill. – Three teenagers died Tuesday in a violent wreck in Monroe County. The rollover crash happened just before 2:30 p.m. north of Valmeyer on Bluff Road at Trout Hollow Road.
The Illinois State Police is handling the investigation. Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX was over the scene. The crash involved a vehicle and a box truck.
According to police, it appears the box truck was traveling southbound on Bluff Road and collided with a passenger vehicle that was traveling northbound.
The car was destroyed beyond recognition. Three people inside the car were ejected from the vehicle and killed.
The names of some of the victims have been released. State police said the driver was Joshua Moate, 18, of St. Louis. The passengers were 15-year-old and 13-year-old girls.
A woman who narrowly escaped being a part of the collision was driving behind the truck as saw it happen.
“I was going to pass the box truck because it was going slow on this road and I would’ve been turning left,” she said. “It’s very scary.”
The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the truck was turning left from Bluff Road when the other vehicle appeared to come out of nowhere.
“It was really bad. The box truck was turning, all of a sudden the car appeared out of nowhere, out of control, tried to make the turn, and went airborne,” she said.
State police said the car struck the rear passenger side of the box truck as it was turning.
The witness said the 33-year-old driver of the commercial truck was not physically hurt but emotionally upset. There was no doubt in her mind the car was speeding.
“It had to be going over 100 miles per hour,” she said. “It’s very scary. If that box truck wasn’t there it would have hit me and another witness in front of me, absolutely.”
The Illinois State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was investigating and trying to determine what went wrong.
“It hits close to home,” said Collin Ford, who lives in the town. “I don’t know who it was. I may know them, I may not.”
As news spread, people in Valmeyer called loved ones to make sure they were not involved.
“My son texted me…he knows to take the country road,” said Lisa Schaefer, who works at the local convenience store. “A lot of people do. So it’s just been very, very sad. Our prayers are going out to everyone.”