Three semi trucks collided on I-57 Tuesday morning after one of the driver's lost control when experiencing a medical issue.
Photo by Glenn Littrell
Three semi trucks collided Tuesday morning on Interstate 57 just west of the Route 15 interchange in Mt. Vernon.
State Police say the crash occurred when the driver of one of the rigs, 44-year-old Jeremy Pieper of Girard, experienced a medical issue that caused him to lose control of his semi. The semi traveled off the roadway, onto the right grass shoulder, and back onto the northbound lanes. The truck then crossed all three lanes, crossed the median, and proceeded into the southbound lanes.
A southbound semi driven by 57-year-old Bret Harness of Frankfort, Indiana was unable to stop in time and struck the right side of Pieper's truck near the drive axles. Another southbound truck driven by 48-year-old Robert Baker of Camby, Indiana, was struck near the rear of its second trailer by the Pieper truck.
Pieper was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of apparent minor injuries. Harness and Baker escaped injury. Pieper was charged with driving while ill or fatigued due to a pre-existing medical condition.
The damage to the Pieper and Harness trucks were extensive, with less damage to Baker's rig. However, all three had to be towed from the scene.
One southbound lane of I-57 remained open throughout the incident. All southbound lanes were reopened at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, three and a half hours after the wreck occurred.