VANDALIA, IL (KTVI) - An accident on Interstate 70 near mile markers 57 resulted in serious injuries and multiple fatalities. A multi-passenger van flipped over and crashed on the side of the road. The Dodge 15-passenger van left the road and rolled around 9:45am Monday, ejecting several occupants.
Illinois State Police say 11 people were in the van and five of those people died in the accident. The injured were transported to hospitals in the area and to St. Louis by ambulance and helicopter.
Pilot Gregory Omernik said he had never seen so many medical aircraft at the Fayette County facility at one time. "There were four Air Evac Lifeteam helicopters and one Arch aircraft that came to assist. I haven't seen that much traffic in a small rural hospital. I've seen it on scenes away from hospitals," said Omernik.
Helicopters had to land in the parking lot of the Fayette County hospital to transfer four of the victims. Greenville Regional Hospital received two of the injured and Saint Louis University received at least one.
It is not known if the passengers and driver were wearing seat belts.
The accident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.