Union County car crash results in three fatalities

The Illinois State Police recently released information about a two-car crash that occurred in Union County on I-57 at 2:14 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, which resulted in multiple deaths and left another with critical injuries.

Passengers Michael A. Villalobos, 26, of Texas, Taylor D. Garza, 24, of Michigan, and a three month-old female were all pronounced dead at the scene by the Union County Coroner's Office. Eric M. Barnett, 25, of Michigan, was the driver of the vehicle. He was air lifted to a regional hospital with life-threatening injuries.

ISP said that Barnett was wearing a seatbelt and the three-month old female was restrained by a child restraint, but Villalobos and Garza were not wearing seatbelts.

The identity of the semi driver was not released, but he refused medical treatment on scene.

ISP stated that preliminary investigative details indicate the semi driver was southbound on I-57 approaching mile marker 32.5. Barnett was northbound in the southbound lane of I-57 approaching mile marker 32.5. Barnett collided with the semi head-on, causing both units to leave the roadway. 

The crash is being investigated by the ISP Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit with the assistance of Zone 7 investigations. I-57 was closed for seven hours for crash investigation and clean-up. All lanes of I-57 are now open.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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