Big rig hits SUV, 3 die; 2nd triple fatality in week in work zone involving tractor-trailer

Workers clear debris from Interstate 70 in the aftermath of an accident that killed three people Saturday. (Courtesy: EFFINGHAM'S 97.9 XFM / KJ COUNTRY 102.3 FM)

EFFINGHAM, Ill. — The driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a traffic accident Saturday on Interstate 70 near here that killed three Missouri residents and injured three other motorists failed to reduce speed to avoid a crash in a construction zone, police said.

Asllan Pino, 59, of Chesterfield, Michigan, was traveling eastbound on I-70 when he struck the back of an SUV driven by Virginia E. Abrams, 59, of Wildwood, Missouri. She was killed along with two of her passengers, Matthew Murphy, 63, and Marleen Murphy, 61, also of Wildwood.

Two other passengers in the Yukon were injured and taken to hospitals.

Investigators said Pino’s tractor-trailer pushed the Yukon into a semi-trailer being towed by a black tractor-trailer then struck the concrete center dividing wall before it came to a rest between the wall and the black tractor-trailer. A passenger in Pino’s tractor-trailer was taken to a hospital with injuries. The driver of the black tractor-trailer was not injured.

Police said a fourth vehicle, likely a truck or tractor-trailer, was struck by the black tractor-trailer, but it was not damaged and the driver left the scene.

Illinois police are investigating the crash.

Police said the vehicles were in a construction zone and came to a stop for an unknown reason.

Authorities said Sunday announced preliminary charges against Pino of failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer.

The Illinois accident was the second triple fatality wreck in the last week involving a tractor-trailer that ran into the back of a line of vehicles in a construction zone.

Truck driver Bruce Pollard of Sturgeon, Missouri, faces three preliminary counts of reckless homicide and five counts of criminal recklessness causing injury after 29-year-old Alanna Koons and 18-month-old June and Ruby Koons were killed in an accident in Indiana on July 14.





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