State Police: Suspect speeds away from traffic stop, leads to deadly 5-car crash


CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — State Police said they are investigating after an attempted traffic stop led to a deadly crash on Sunday night.

In a news release, troopers said dispatchers got a report on a reckless driver shortly before 5 p.m.. Mattoon Police found the vehicle along Lakeland Boulevard and tried to stop it. The driver did not stop the vehicle and sped away.

Several minutes later, Charleston Police found the vehicle and tried to stop it at Lincoln Avenue and Reynolds Drive. Again, the vehicle did not stop.

The vehicle crashed into several others on Illinois Route 16 at University Drive in Charleston. There were five vehicles involved in the crash.

Seth White works for the city of Charleston. He helped clean up the scene.

“Just a lot of wrecked cars all over the place. It looked like a war zone,” White said.

White said he’s lived in Charleston his whole life, and he’s never seen anything like it.

“Something like this that could happen in a small town like this is just surprising,” he said.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was pronounced dead at the hospital. Four other people were taken to the hospital. There is no word on their current conditions.

Peyton Trier was working at Big Al’s shake-ups food truck at the corner of the intersection when it happened.

“First reaction, I thought it was a bomb. I was like what happened, and I turned around at the red light and I was like oh there’s an accident,” Trier said.

He said a piece of a car even got thrown into the food truck across the street.

“I never expected that. I know we’ve had a few accidents around, but nothing like that. Pretty scary,” he said.

Officers are still investigating this crash. They have not released the name of the person who died.

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