Fiery crash at I-64 rest area claims the life on NC man, three others hospitalized

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A Sunday morning fiery crash on Interstate 64 in Jefferson County claimed the life of a 75-year-old North Carolina man, and sent three others to the hospital with varying degrees of injuries.

According to the Illinois State Police, the man and his 74-year-old female passenger, both from Knotts Island, NC, were observed entering the rest area in Jefferson County at a high rate of speed, swerving on and off the roadway and striking several trees.

The motor home they were in reportedly entered the parking lot of the rest area at a high rate of speed and struck a parked pickup truck that was towing a trailer.

Both vehicles immediately burst into flames and became completely engulfed. Both vehicles and the trailer were completely destroyed by the fire.

The 75-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene; his 74-year-old passenger was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, and then airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital with major injuries.

The occupants of the pickup truck, Patrick and Jacqueline Outler, both 47 and of Chandler, Indiana, were taken to Crossroads Hospital in Mt. Vernon and treated for minor injuries.

The crash resulted in rest area being closed for approximately 10 hours as the Illinois State Police continued to investigate the crash. It re-opened at approximately 8 p.m.