Interstate accident prompts road improvements

Local News

Updated: 6:30 p.m., 5/25/17, Thursday

OAKWOOD, Ill. (WCIA) – Two semi trucks crashed on I-74 this week and road conditions have several truck drivers concerned about their safety.

Carnaghi Towing says this is the 13th accident they have handled in this area in the past month. IDOT says they’re working to fix the problem, but this most recent accident yesterday near the Oakwood exit is just one of several that have happened this year.

The driver says he couldn’t regain control of the truck on the slick interstate. Ramiz Kurpejovic has been driving trucks in the us for 17 years. He says he’s been through the worst of weather conditions, but what happened yesterday was something he’s never experienced before.

“It’s been very scary and I’m nervous because I’ve never been in this type of accident.”

He drives trucks for a living, but on Wednesday afternoon as he was passing the Oakwood exit near Danville, he says he lost control.

“When I passed the bridge, the wind on the side pushed my trailer and my truck.”

He says it was raining and the roads were slick.

“I just grabbed my wheel and I was wearing my safety belt. It probably saved my life.”

His truck cab slid into the opposing lane. The truck behind him slammed on his brakes, but couldn’t stop in time. They collided and the other truck toppled over. Nobody was hurt.

Connie Pruitt says, “The concern for me is if there’s so many happening there, when is someone going to get killed?”

She drove semis for 20 years. Her husband is also a driver. Just last month, another truck collided with his on the same stretch of the interstate.

“With the conditions there, I do believe it’s something with the road. It’s something about that highway, it’s not correct.”

IDOT agrees. Officials say the pavement near the overpass gets slick when it rains, and has caused several accidents in the past. They’re trying to fix the problem. Next week they say crews will be grinding the surface to provide more traction. 

Carnaghi Towing took the trucks off of the interstate yesterday. So far this year, they’ve had to tow 19 trucks off the road near the Oakwood exit in total.

IDOT is also planning to re-pave the area under the overpass west of the Oakwood exit. Both eastbound and westbound lanes will be redone. The project will take 2-4 weeks. They plan to start at the end of September.

Original: 5:00 p.m., 5/24/17, Wednesday

OAKWOOD, Ill. (WCIA) – An accident is causing traffic delays along I-74 in Vermilion county.  

Illinois State Police say to use caution if traveling in the area. 

There is a lane blockage for both the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic at mile post 205.  

Expect delays for several hours and use alternate routes if travel if possible.

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