HOLIDAY SHORES — A car accident on Illinois Route 140 Thursday morning involving an overturned milk truck resulted in a fatality for the driver of the other vehicle.
Lori A. Vinyard, 51, of Hamel, was pronounced dead on the scene by the Madison County Coroner investigator Todd R. Ballard after her 2011 silver Ford utility vehicle was rolled over by a semi truck carrying a load of milk. The accident happened at 6656 Illinois Route 140, east of Illinois Route 159, at approximately 10:25 a.m., according to Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye.
Holiday Shores Fire Chief Steve Cooper said the department received a call at approximately 10:30 a.m. for a motor vehicle accident involving an overturned semi truck and another vehicle. Holiday Shores and Fosterburg fire protection districts responded to the scene along with the Illinois State Police.
According to the driver of the semi truck, Greg Street, the accident occurred when the tailgate of a Foster Township truck heading westbound fell off the truck and into the eastbound lane of Illinois Route 140. Street said his truck “bounced” over the tailgate and went sliding into the field north of the highway. As it went sliding, the truck rolled on top of Vinyard’s vehicle.
Street said the whole thing “just happened fast.”
“We were coming close, and I saw something fly off the back,” Street said. “It went right under my truck. The next thing I know, I’m sliding in the field. I was OK, and I climbed out of the truck. I saw the cars in the street. At first, I didn’t know I was on someone else.”
Street said he was on his way to the Dean’s Milk plant in O’Fallon, Ill., at the time of the accident. The Foster Township truck was coming back from dropping off discarded tires in Hamel, according to Foster Township supervisor Bill Ambrose.
Foster Township road commissioner Pat Maher said the truck is a 2007 model and hasn’t had any previous issues with the tailgate. Maher said the township’s trucks get inspected regularly.
“We get them manually inspected,” Maher said. “They’re supposed to look them over before they leave.”
The driver of the dump truck involved in the accident, Jake Strohbeck, declined comment.
Holiday Shores Fire Chief Steve Cooper said occupants of other vehicles involved were transported to local hospitals with injuries.
The case remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police, and all charges are pending.
Nathan Grimm may be reached at 618-208-6451 or on Twitter @GrimmTelegraph.