Chain Reaction Crash on I-57 Leads to One Injury, Closure

WEST FRANKFORT – One person was hurt and I-57 southbound was closed near West Frankfort after six cars were involved in a chain reaction crash Friday morning.

In a press release, Illinois State Police officials said Friday a 2010 Silver Ford driven by 18-year-old Mark Williams of South Bend, IN, suffered a blown-out tire near mile marker 67 north of West Frankfort when he came to a stop on the right shoulder of the road on a bridge. Williams attempted to drive from the bridge deck by entering the right lane at a slow rate of speed when a tractor trailer driven by 55-year-old Mark Lamothe of Martin Town, Ontario could not avoid the vehicle. Lamothe attempted to veer left but struck Williams’ vehicle and also side-swiped a tractor trailer driven by 45-year-old Edward Stafford of Starkville, Mississippi. Stafford’s vehicle proceeded to rear-end William’s vehicle. One more tractor trailer and two vehicles, driven by 70-year-old Larry Sandvik of Chaffee, Missouri, 74-year-old Howard Griffith of Robinson, and 72-year-old Harol Whitlock of Benton, all could not avoid the resulting chain reaction crash.

Griffith was taken to a local area hospital with injuries. No one else, including five passengers in all of the vehicles, were hurt. I-57 southbound was closed for about two hours for crash investigation and scene cleanup.

Williams was cited for improper lane usage, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, and no valid driver’s license.