MARION COUNTY — A two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 50 Saturday afternoon claimed the life of 36-year-old Odin man, and required his wife and son to be airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital.
According to Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon, Craig L. Williams was traveling westbound on Rt 50, approximately 1/4 mile east of the overpass in Odin, when his SUV crossed the centerline into the path of an oncoming semi truck traveling east.
The truck driver said he saw the Williams vehicle approaching into his path, attempted to avoid a collision, and was forced most of the way off the right shoulder of the roadway before the Williams vehicle struck the left front corner of the semi truck and continued down the driver’s side of the truck.
The Williams vehicle sustained major damage and was spun around in the roadway, remaining upright. The truck continued into the south ditch, and also sustained heavy damage from the crash.
The truck driver was not apparently injured, but Williams died on impact, and Cannon pronounced Williams dead at the scene shortly after 3pm.
Two passengers in the Williams vehicle, his wife and son, were taken to Salem Township Hospital and then flown by helicopter to a St. Louis area hospital with what were reportedly non-life-threatening injuries.
Williams was a Firefighter with the Odin Fire Protection District, and his loss has impacted his department as well as neighboring departments in the area.
Rt 50 was closed for several hours as the crash investigation proceeded.
Illinois State Police Accident Reconstruction personnel, along with ISP troopers and motor carrier specialists assisted at the scene, along with the Odin Fire Protection District, Sandoval Fire District, Salem Fire Protection District, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Salem Police Department, Odin Police, Sandoval Police, Marion County ESDA, and Marion County EMS.
Cannon says the investigation continues, in an attempt to determine why the Williams vehicle strayed into the oncoming lane of traffic.
The Day/Macz Funeral Home in Sandoval is assisting the family with arrangements.