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Semi driver killed in multi-semi truck crash

Interstate was 'a mess' as result of two accidents

Published: Friday, March 23, 2012 8:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012 9:00 a.m. CDT

Semi-truck driver Charles F. Peterlin, 63, of Evergreen Park, Ill., was killed Friday morning in a four semi-truck accident on Interstate 80, at mile post 102.

At about 6:15 a.m. Friday, Illinois State Police received a call about a three-vehicle accident between two passenger cars and a semitrailer in the eastbound lanes on Interstate 80, near the La Salle County line, Sgt. James Powell said. The backup from the three-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 caused a second accident involving four semis.

In the first accident, the semi driver was injured, but not seriously.

Because of the backup from the first accident, a second accident occurred about a mile behind the first, Powell said.

"It's a mess," he said.

According to a press release from state police District 17, Peterlin was driving double trailers at 6:59 a.m. on I-80 eastbound, at mile marker 102, and hit a stopped semi, which caused a chain reaction.

Peterlin hit a second semi driven by Wesley D. Beauchem, 46, of Chana, Ill. Beauchem's truck was pushed into a third truck driven by Lonnie E. Brandel, 45, of Iowa, and Brandel's truck then hit a fourth truck driven by Jagmeet Grewal, 45, of Quebec, Canada.

Peterlin was pronounced dead at the scene by the La Salle County Coroner's office, according to the release.

The driver of the second truck, Beauchem, was taken to Morris Hospital by Seneca Ambulance, but was expected to be treated and released, according to the press release. The other two semi truck drivers did not report any injuries.

At around 8 a.m., Illinois State Police reported the multi-semi truck crash had closed the eastbound lanes of I-80. Eastbound traffic was diverted off at mile post 97, the Marseilles exit. I-80 westbound traffic was down to one lane near the accident site.

Before 10 a.m. Friday, the first accident had been cleared and traffic was getting by in the left lane.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, Interstate 80 had been reopened at mile post 102 eastbound, according to Illinois State Police.

District 5 was taking care of the first accident and District 17 the second. The second crash is being investigated by state police and the La Salle County Coroner's office. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Seneca Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene.

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