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Woman hurt in I-55 crash gets visit from favorite band

Japanese graduate student was en route to Chicago for concert

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:21 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:29 a.m. CST

WILMINGTON — One of the people injured in the fatal six-vehicle accident on Interstate 55 near Wilmington last week was a Japanese graduate student, according to a Missouri family she had lived with.

The female student, 27, suffered a broken arm and a broken ankle and was transported from the scene by helicopter to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

She was on her way from her home near Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., to a concert in Chicago last Wed-nesday, when she was involved in the accident involving three semi-trucks and three passenger vehicles.

The night of the accident, she was en route to a concert by the metal band Misery Signals at Reggie’s in Chicago.

She has been to many of the band’s concerts and was on the guest list for that night’s show. After their show that night, the band visited her at the hospital.

“She’s been a pretty loyal fan, probably the most loyal,” said guitarist Ryan Morgan. “She’s definitely gone out of her way to support us, so we just figured it’d be a cool thing to do.”

The Milwaukee band also gave the student a rare poster.

“It was great,” Morgan said. “I’m glad we did it.”

An investigation by Illinois State Police into last Wednesday’s accident is still on-going, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

The accident, which claimed the life of a 68-year-old Roselle woman, occurred around 4:40 p.m. July 17.

Three passenger vehicles and two truck tractor semi-trailers were stopped in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55, near North River Road, in an area under construction.

A truck tractor semi-trailer traveling north did not stop and slammed into one of the stopped passenger vehicles, sending it into the other vehicles involved.

Harriette E. Herrera, the driver of the first passenger vehicle struck, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:11 p.m.

The student was in another of the vehicles. How many others were injured, if any, remains unclear, as do the types and extent of those injuries.

The student has had surgery on her arm and ankle, and was expected to undergo another surgery Wednesday.

She lives off-campus with another student, but previously lived with a family in St. Charles, Mo. She may live with the family while undergoing possible rehabilitation therapy.

She is studying business.

The Illinois State Police has not released any new information on the accident since it occurred.

Sgt. Fred Rivera said such investigations take multiple factors into account, including trooper reports, crash reconstruction analyses, toxicology reports and vehicle inspections.

The process for an investigation can take several weeks, Rivera said.

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