NEW ATHENS, Illinois — Fire department authorities decided to close Illinois Route 13 in New Athens due to a severe accident at the intersection of South Van Buren Street and Keim Road. Police, fire, and medics arrived at the scene of the crash about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, November 15, 2018,according to the Belleville News-Democrat. One person sustained severe injuries in the crash which fire officials said occurred because of a medical issue experienced by another driver. There was no discussion on whether police wouldcontinue to investigate the accident.*
Captain Justin Majzel spokesperson for the New Athens Fire Department explained to the press how he believes the accident happened. Captain Majzel said that around 2:30 in the afternoon, one of the drivers involved in the two-car wreck suffered an apparent medical issue. Captain Majzel declined to provide specifics about the problem but did say that the driver lost control over the vehicle while was he was in distress. Consequently, the car crashed into the car immediately in front of it. That car was stopped at a stop sign at the intersection.
The force of the collision propelled the vehicles across the center line and into the opposite travel lane headed west. First responders extricated both drivers. One of the drivers sustained a severe head injury and required a medical flight to the nearest trauma center for advanced treatment. Captain Majzel did not identify which driver suffered the head injury. He did not provide the current medical status of the injured person nor did he indicate whether he anticipated that the injured person would survive.
Fire department officials closed Illinois 13 to all traffic while they cleared the scene and removed debris from the roadway. The cleanup was complete around 4:00 p.m. and normal traffic patterns were restored, buttraffic remained heavy through the evening commute.
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