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Semi driver killed in accident on I-80

Investigation indicates driver was unaware of stopped vehicles

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 5:57 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 1:34 p.m. CDT
(Becky Siegel photo for the Morris Daily Herald)
A North Carolina resident died as result of a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 80.

A North Carolina resident was killed Thursday afternoon as result of an accident involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 80.

The crash, according to Grundy County Chief Deputy Coroner Christina D. Hintze and Illinois State Police Dist. 5., occurred in the I-80 eastbound lanes at 2:09 p.m. Thursday near the 112 mile-marker, which is just east of the Illinois 47 overpass. 

Preliminary investigation indicates that traffic was stopped on eastbound I-80 due to construction.

According to Hintze, it appears the North Carolina semi truck driver, whom ISP identified late Thursday as Norman Hargus, 41, of Lenoir, N.C., was unaware of the stopped vehicles and proceeded strike the rear of a Silver 2011 Kia Soul. The impact caused the semi to jackknife, blocking all lanes of traffic. It then struck the rear of a 2012 Blue Freightliner.

Emergency crews extricated Hargus from the semi, and a LifeStar helicopter arrived on scene. Hargus, however, was pronounced dead at the scene by Chief Deputy Hintze. The other drivers involved were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 21.

The accident had closed both lanes of eastbound Interstate 80.

The Grundy County Coroner's Office and Illinois State Police Dist. 5 are continuing the investigation. Assisting at the scene were Morris Police, Kurtz EMS, Morris Fire Department and Minooka Fire Department.

The crash is being reconstructed by the Illinois State Police, Dist. 5. Any charges to be filed as a result of the accident are still pending.

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