Crashes prompt Manar to seek IDOT review of deadly I-55 stretch

A series of deadly and serious car crashes near a work zone on Interstate 55 in northern Madison County has prompted Senator Andy Manar to request a review by state transportation officials.

manar andyThe latest crash on Friday involved 10 vehicles and sent numerous people to the hospital, including a Livingston woman who died from her injuries Monday night.

That pileup was near the site of a grisly November wreck that killed four young women and injured numerous others. Two of the victims were from Staunton and were Manar’s constituents.

Several other crashes have occurred in the area of the construction zone between Hamel and Illinois 143 since late October, according to police and local officials. That’s when traffic was reduced by one lane in each direction for road repairs. The work is expected to last through late September 2018, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“Clearly, there is a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Manar, D-Bunker Hill, whose district begins just north of the construction zone. “I have constituents who drive this stretch of highway every day, or have loved ones who do, and they are extremely concerned about their safety in light of these crashes.”

Manar sent a letter to IDOT Secretary Randall Blankenhorn Wednesday asking him to determine if more can be done to minimize crashes and improve safety on behalf of motorists and construction crews who are working on the highway project.

“I don’t know if drivers need more warnings to slow down and pay attention, if more police patrols are required, or if some other measure is needed to ensure this stretch of I-55 is safe,” Manar said. “I am confident that IDOT will assess the situation responsibly and recommend changes that will help protect drivers and put people’s minds at ease, particularly during this busy holiday travel season.”

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