I-64 fiery crash near New Baden; two injured

3:23 PM, Aug 6, 2010   |    comments
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New Baden, IL (KSDK) -- Two people were injured in a five vehicle I-64 fiery crash in the westbound lanes, including a man who had to be rescued by 10 people.

Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Link said two tractor trailers, including one pulling a UHaul trailer, and two other vehicles were involved. One of the tractor trailers and the UHaul trailer caught fire.

James Sheppard said he was able to stop before the crash. He ran over and helped nine other people pull a man through a moon roof on a semi-truck involved in the crash.

"We had to pull him out through the moon roof cause the semi was trapped on its side," Sheppard said. "He was kind of a big guy, so he was hard to get out. He was a little beat up. I think he was conscious. We were able to walk him to the stretcher and he left. He was bleeding."

He was initially taken to  St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, Illinois in critical condition.  He was then transported to Saint Louis University Hospital and upgraded to fair condition. 

A second victim was brought to St. Elizabeth's as well.  That person was treated and released that afternoon.

Trooper Link said one victim suffered only a minor head injury.

Sheppard said a mother, father and two children were in another vehicle. He said they were no longer on the scene, but did not know where they went or their conditions.

The wreck happened near milepost 30, near the Illinois 160 overpass around noon. Trooper Link said the area was not a bad stretch of road. A construction area was going on further up the road.

A police source described the scene as "absolute chaos."

Click here to see pictures from the scene 

View pictures from the ground

Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Joe Monroe said he did not have any information about possible fatalities. He said it was also too soon to know what caused the crash.

Westbound I-64 traffic is being diverted between the New Baden Exit 27 and Albers Exit 34.  Trooper Link said the westbound lanes might not be open until 5 p.m. at the earliest.  Eastbound I-64 is still open.

New Baden, Illinois is located about 35 miles east of St. Louis.

Stay with NewsChannel 5 and KSDK.com for updates on the situation.


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