Drivers warned to stay alert

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — State police say it’s up to drivers to pay attention to construction zones and backed up traffic.

Crews have set up on I-74, between Urbana and Danville, where they’ll be working for three weeks.

A woman died near the construction earlier this week and police say they want to prevent it from happening again.

It’s not the first fatal accident in the area. There was a fatal motorcycle crash in the past two weeks and there have been others in recent years, even when the area is free of construction.

It’s not clear why this stretch has these issues, but state police have reminders for drivers. For some, these cones and signs aren’t sending a strong enough message.

“I think, a lot of times, people are waiting until the last minute to merge into their lane or they’re waiting until the last minute to slow down.”

Ealier this week, a woman died on I-74. She was inside a van being driven by a 28-year old man who didn’t slow down for construction. Police say she was in the back helping her children when she was ejected; an accident Trooper Tracy Lillard says could have been prevented.

“Traffic had stopped due to a construction project and, as the oncoming traffic came up on the stopped area, the minivan failed to yield and ran into the back of a semi.”

She says speeding and distracted driving are two of the biggest concerns.

“Paying attention, being aware of your surroundings when you’re on the road can be the matter between life and deaath.”

But, what if you’re not the driver in the wrong? Lillard says there are steps you can take to hopefully avoid a crash.

“Watch your mirrors and watch behind you and so that way, if you have to leave the roadway or have to hit the ditch or pull out onto the shoulder to avoid somebody from striking you from behind, then that’s what you need to do.”

Construction continues for the next several weeks. Lillard says police can only do so much, it’s up to drivers to keep roads safe.

“Anticipate the delays, pay attention and be aware of your surroundings.”

The construction is for patchwork. IDOT says it’s a mobile project and will continue for the next three weeks.

Crews were out working early Wednesday morning, when a driver went through wet cement near Oakwood.

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