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home : free press advocate : free press advocate November 26, 2015

7/22/2014 9:03:00 PM
Five dead in I-55 crashes
Driver in custody, facing felony charge
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Eighteen minutes in the Interstate 55 Des Plaines River construction zone Monday proved more deadly than five months of road construction last year. Two accidents that afternoon, completely unrelated but both caused by the drivers of semi-trucks, resulted in the deaths of four adults and one child.

Elwood Fire Protection District was called to the accident on northbound I-55, at mile post 243, at 2:15 p.m. The crash, about one-half mile north of Blodgett Road, involved two semi-trucks and three passenger vehicles. Elwood fire district asked for 10 ambulances from area fire departments, and two helicopters, to transport the survivors.

Police believe Espinal-Quiroz rear-ended a green Kia Soul being driven by Kimberly K. Britton, 43, of Urbana. She and a backseat passenger, 11-year-old Piper Britton, were killed. A second passenger, Timothy Osburn, also of Urbana, was transported to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

The Britton car ran into a red Dodge Avenger, being driven by Vicky L. Palacios, 54, of Coal City, who also died in the crash. Palacios' car hit a Chevy Astro van being driven by Angelique Blopleh, 16, of Channahon. She was transported to St. Joe's. Her front seat passenger, Ulrike P. Blopleh, 48, was killed. Two more passengers were transported for medical treatment; Andrew Blopleh was transported to the hospital, and Adrian Blopleh was airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

At the front end of the chain reaction crash was a second semi-truck, driven by Juan Serrano, 43, who refused medical treatment.

Espinal-Quiroz made a video appearance at a bond hearing in Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon. A Spanish language interpreter was provided. Bond was set at $1 million.

Find additional details in the Wednesday, July 23, 2014 print and online editions of The Free Press Advocate, Braidwood Journal and Coal City Courant.

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