The later incident sent a young woman to the hospital with
At 6:11 p.m., a northbound 2002 Jeep
driven by Johnelle McDermott, 24, Carpentersville, was involved in a
one-vehicle crash at mile marker 87 on I-55 south of Springfield.
The Jeep she was driving rolled and came to rest on its roof on the
east side of I-55.
McDermott remained in the Jeep. It is unknown if she sustained
any injuries from that crash.
Then a Ford driven by Emily K. Whitlock, 22, Springfield,
traveling on I-55 northbound, braked to avoid a semi changing lanes.
Whitlock lost control of the Ford and traveled off the east side
of I-55. Whitlock's Ford then struck the left front of McDermott's
McDermott was removed from her Jeep and transported to Memorial
Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
Assisting agencies at this incident were the Illinois State
Police and Chatham Fire Department.
There were no major injuries in an earlier five-vehicle crash
that occurred at 4:29 p.m. at mile marker 94 at Stevenson Drive.
A 2007 Toyota driven by Mark Thompson, age 24, of Springfield was
merging onto I-55 southbound from Stevenson Drive when Thompson lost
control. The Toyota spun 180 degrees into the inside lane of I-55.
[to top of second column]
A 2008 Pontiac driven by Lauren Brandt, 17, of Sherman was traveling
on I-55 southbound in the inside lane. Ms. Brandt slowed to avoid
Thompson's Toyota and lost control.
Brandt's Pontiac struck a 2006 International semi traveling on
I-55 southbound in the outside lane. The semi was driven by Brandon
Feagons, 16, of Sherman and was struck on the driver's side.
The Pontiac then traveled across the median into the inside lane
of I-55 northbound and struck a 2001 Chevrolet pickup head-on. The
pickup was owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation and
driven by Thomas Kulavic, 44, of Springfield.
Brandt's Pontiac continued into the outside lane of I-55
northbound and struck the rear wheels of a 2007 Freightliner driven
by Ernie Gentry, 26, of Athens.
The Pontiac came to rest back in the median.
Brandt and a passenger, LeMandy Kim-Anh, refused treatment but
were transported to St John's Hospital. This was done due to both
not being of age to sign refusal of treatment.
Mark Thompson was issued citations for following too closely and
operation of a motor vehicle with expired registration.
The public is reminded that anyone is presumed innocent until the
charges are proven in a court of law.
State Police; LDN]