LITCHFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Two Interstate 55 rest stops in central Illinois now bear the name of a state trooper killed on the freeway last year.
Kyle Deatherage's family joined Illinois State Police in dedicating signs Thursday that designate the rest stops near Litchfield in Deatherage's honor. The action was approved earlier this year by Illinois' General Assembly.
Deatherage was a 32 year old motorcycle trooper when he was hit and killed by a passing tractor-trailer last November during a traffic stop along the highway, about 45 miles south of Springfield.
The trucker, 52 year old Johnny Felton Jr. of Hinesville, GA, is charged with reckless homicide and operating a commercial motor vehicle without a proper license. He has pleaded not guilty.
Deatherage was a married father of two children and had been a trooper since May 2009.
Crews have just reopened northbound I-55 south of downtown St. Louis after a major accident this morning had the highway shutdown.
Just before 11 AM, two vehicles were overturned in an accident. The crash was near the Potomac exit. Five people, four adults and one child, were taken to the hospital.
Still no word on what caused the accident.
Two people are dead after separate crashes Wednesday evening.
The first accident happened just after 7:00 p.m. along southbound Interstate 55 near Loughborough. A driver was ejected after hitting a guardrail and then another car. The victim died at the scene.
The second fatal accident happened just before 9:30 p.m. along Airport Road in Berkeley. Two cars collided, sending one into a utility pole. Two people had to be extricated from that wreck. The driver of that vehicle died at the scene. The passenger from that car and the driver from the other car were both taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
None of the victims have been identified by police.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the accident occurred early Saturday when a car headed south in the northbound lanes collided with another car.
The car that headed in the wrong direction caught fire, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The 36-year-old driver of the other car was taken to an area hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition.