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home : news : local   May 29, 2016

8/19/2014 10:40:00 AM
No fatalities reported in I-80 crash - UPDATED


A LifeFlight helicopter takes off, carrying a motorcycle accident victim, Monday afternoon on westbound Interstate 80 near the Interstate 39 on-ramp. NewsTribune photos/Craig Sterrett
+ click to enlarge
A LifeFlight helicopter takes off, carrying a motorcycle accident victim, Monday afternoon on westbound Interstate 80 near the Interstate 39 on-ramp.
NewsTribune photos/Craig Sterrett
Utica Ambulance steers past blocked traffic toward a crash on westbound Interstate 80 just east of Interstate 39.
+ click to enlarge
Utica Ambulance steers past blocked traffic toward a crash on westbound Interstate 80 just east of Interstate 39.
NT Staff




State police have yet to identify the Spring Valley man and woman injured in a multi-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Interstate 80 near the I-39 interchange, but two coroner’s offices report no resulting deaths.

Details still are emerging from the crash reported shortly after 2 p.m. Monday, during which a passenger sedan struck a semi and then a motorcycle crashed while apparently trying to veer from harm’s path.

The motorcycle struck a guardrail, however, and both riders were taken from the scene to undisclosed hospitals.

The injured have been identified only as a 56-year-old Spring Valley man, who was driving the motorcycle, and his passenger, a 55-year-old Spring Valley woman.

Names still were being withheld at press time today, though both the La Salle and Peoria counties coroner’s offices said there were no reports of a fatality resulting from the crash. (Peoria hospitals often receive trauma cases from the Illinois Valley area.)

According to a preliminary report, the chain reaction began when a passenger sedan driven by Kayla L. Guenther, 19, of Ottawa attempted to merge eastbound onto I-80 from northbound I-39 when her car collided with the front end of a semi truck driven by a 40-year-old man from Mankato, Minn.

Guenther’s Honda four-door “went out of control, traveled across the median and entered the westbound lanes,” state police said in reports last updated at 6 p.m. Monday.

State police said they believe the motorcycle driver attempted to avoid a collision with the car and then struck the guardrail.

Guenther was charged with improper lane usage, police said.

A state police accident reconstruction unit was called to the scene, and westbound I-80 between Utica and I-39 was closed from 2:03 p.m. until about 4:45 p.m.

Social media reports indicated the backup extended to nearby U.S. 6, which had bumper-to-bumper traffic resulting from motorists detouring from I-80.

State police, La Salle and Utica firefighters and emergency medical technicians came to the scene to block traffic and attend to the injured.

The newsroom can be reached at (815) 220-6935 or ntlocal@newstrib.com. Follow Craig Sterrett @NT_NewsEditor.






Related Stories:
• Friends open their hearts for recovering Spring Valley couple
• Injured motorcyclist critical after chain-reaction accident





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