ROCK CREEK COUNTY, Illinois — A husband and wife couple from Kewanee, Illinois died after a collision with a tractor-trailer truck in Rock Creek County. WEEK reported that the fatal crash happened in the afternoon. The husband and driver passed away a short time after the accident. Sadly, the passenger who was also the driver’s wife died several days after the crash. The matter remains under investigation with Illinois State Police troopers. Troopers have not sought criminal charges or traffic citations in the case to this point, and it is unclear whether they will after their investigation.
The initial investigation conducted by the Illinois State police found that the 76-year-old male driver and the 76-year-old female passenger were riding in a Dodge pickup truck on Interstate 80. The couple was headed westerly on the Interstate. Traffic ahead of them began to slow down rapidly due to the occurrence of an accident further west. The investigating troopers determined to this juncture that a tractor-trailer truck slowed in response to the changing traffic conditions. The Dodge pickup failed to brake in time and slammed into the rear of the semi-trailer.
The collision trapped the couple inside of the Dodge pickup. First responders had to remove them from the wreckage. A life-flight transported the driver of the Dodge pickup to Rock Island Hospital. Doctors there declared that the man passed away not long after his arrival at the hospital. She succumbed to her injuries at OSF St. Francis in Peoria, Illinois.
Rear underride accidents can be deadly. Even though federal regulations require all large trucks to have a rear underride guard blocking the rear wheels of the trailer, fatal underride accidents continue to occur. According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear underride guards reduce the chance of death by well over 50 percent. However, that same study concluded that striking the rear of a semi-truck equipped with a rear underride guard at an angle instead of head-on was not reduced by the existence of the guard.
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Source:https://week.com/news/top-stories/2019/03/22/two-kewanee-residents-killed-in-crash-with-semi/ and https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811375