I-55 collision kills 4 people, including 3 teenagers

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LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — Four people including three high school students died when the vehicle they were travelling in went out of control on Interstate 55 in central Illinois and struck a semitrailer, authorities said.

The crash Wednesday night occurred in heavy rain just south of Lincoln, about 145 miles (233 kilometers) miles southwest of Chicago, Illinois State Police said.

A man was driving a northbound Chrysler Pacifica carrying the students on the interstate about 10:15 p.m. when it skidded across the median and into oncoming southbound traffic, where the semitrailer struck it, police said.

Of the five occupants of the Pacifica, four were pronounced dead at the scene.

They were the 47-year-old driver, a 17-year-old boy and two girls, ages 16 and 17, police said. A 13-year-old girl sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital, police said.

The names of the victims were withheld, but Washington Community High School Superintendent Kyle Freeman said in an email the three dead teens were students at the school.

“This loss will affect everyone in our school family and in the Washington community,” Freeman wrote.

A passenger in the truck, a 41-year-old man from Decatur, Georgia., also was transported to a hospital. His injuries weren’t life-threatening, police said.

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