Traffic accident on Illinois Route 3 claims three lives

Three persons sustained fatal injuries in a traffic accident which happened early Thursday morning, April 21, in Union County.

Illinois State Police District 22 reported that the accident occurred at approximately 4:15 a.m. April 21.

The accident happened on Illinois Route 3, just north of Old Cape Road.

The state police reported that the accident involved a 2013 Fiat sedan and a 2017 Toyota sedan.

In a preliminary report of the investigation of the accident, state police reported that the Fiat was traveling southbound on Illinois Route 3, just north of the Old Cape Road.

The state police reported that for an unknown reason, the vehicle crossed the highway center line and struck the front of the Toyota.

The drivers of both vehicles, along with a passenger in the Toyota, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Union County coroner.

The driver of the Fiat was identified as Marie A. Meunier, 32, of Cape Girardeau.

The driver of the Toyota was identified as Pavan Swarna, 23, of Carbondale.

The passenger in the Toyota who sustained fatal injuries was identified as Vamshi K. Pechetty, 23, of Carbondale.

Two other passengers in the Toyota were transported by ambulance to a regional hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The passengers were identified as Yaswanth S. Uppalapati, 23, of Carbondale, and Kalyan Dorna, 24, of Carbondale.

An investigation of the accident continues.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office in Jonesboro reported that Illinois Route 3, from Ware to the intersection near East Cape Girardeau, was closed for several hours due to the accident.

Motorists were being asked to detour, using Illinois Route 127 South to Route 3 in Alexander County.

Two of the persons who sustained fatal injuries in the accident were identified as graduate students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Vamshi Pechetty and Pavan Swarna were graduate students in computer science.

The two persons injured in the accident also were identified as graduate students at SIUC.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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