MT. VERNON – A two-vehicle crash on I-57 in Jefferson County Wednesday night injured three people.
According to Illinois State Police, just after 9, a pickup truck – driven by 71-year-old Robert M. Bell of Vandalia – was parked on the right shoulder of the interstate at milepost 97 facing the wrong way. Bell attempted to merge into the right lane and turn around.
Another vehicle, a GMC carryall driven by 74-year-old Thomas J. Deien of Centralia, was traveling north on the interstate in the right lane at milepost 97. Deien’s vehicle struck Bell’s truck as it attempted to turn around in the right lane.
Bell suffered minor injuries and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon. Deien and his passenger, 58-year-old Brenda K. Deien of Centralia, suffered major injuries. Thomas Deien was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, then flown to St. Louis University Hospital. Brenda Deien also suffered major injuries and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.
All three were wearing seat belts. ISP says the cause of the crash was improper lane usage and charges are pending.