5 killed in crash in Ill.; van coming from Calif.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A van carrying 11 men returning from a California religious gathering careened off of a southern Illinois freeway and overturned several times today, killing five of them and sending six others to hospitals, authorities said.
Bruce Bowen called today’s crash scene on Interstate 70 west of Vandalia among the worst he’s seen in his 13 years as coroner of Illinois’ Fayette County. Nine of the men were thrown from the 15-passenger van as it tumbled over and over. Those who sustained fatal injuries died at the scene.
“It was total disaster,” he told The Associated Press. “There were just bodies everywhere.”
Bowen said the names of the men who died couldn’t be released as of late this afternoon, given that he and other authorities were just starting to notify relatives.