TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois State Police have announced they identified a vehicle and driver suspected of being involved in Friday’s deadly HAZMAT disaster in Teutopolis.
The investigation into the crash and subsequent ammonia leak revealed that a vehicle had possibly passed a tanker truck as it was driving on U.S Route 40 east of Teutopolis. The driver of the truck subsequently swerved the right and ran off the road.
As the truck and its trailer crashed, the tank was pierced by the hitch of a utility trailer that was parked at the scene. Half of the anhydrous ammonia inside the tank leaked out, killing five people and hurting another seven, and prompted an evacuation of Teutopolis.
State Police released on Tuesday video of the vehicle they were looking for and asked for help in identifying it and the person behind the wheel. Two days later, officials said the information provided by people in Montrose and Teutopolis led to an identification.
“Thank you to the communities of Montrose and Teutopolis, and everyone who provided information to ISP,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “The information we received from the community has been instrumental in identifying the vehicle and driver believed to be involved in this case.”
State Police are still investigating the crash and are consulting with the Effingham County State’s Attorney’s Office. They did not release the name of the driver they identified.