Five Car Fatalities on Illinois 158 Since October 2016

Five Car Crash Fatalities in Less Than Three Months

According to Calvin Dye Jr, Illinois State Patrol, accidents on two lane highways can increase when the road passes through rural parts of the state rather than urban areas. When the roadway becomes rural and there are cornfields on either side, people tend to speed, pay less attention and daydream according to Dye.

Dye said, “They just clearly don’t pay attention to the roadway. They become distracted with the cellphone, with the radios. We see our worst crashes here in Distract 11 on the rural parts of state highways”.

The stretch of roadway involved is Illinois 158 between Belleville and Columbia, Illinois which has seen five car crash fatalities since October 2016. While investigations continue as to the causes of two of them, distracted driving has been listed as a contributing factor to one fatal crash between October and the end of 2016.

So, the Question Arises, “Is Illinois 158 a Dangerous Highway?”

Trooper Calvin Dye Jr, a spokesman for Illinois State Police in Collinsville says that rural sections of state highways can be “extremely dangerous”. He states that it is not uncommon for troopers to respond to Illinois 158 as well as state routes 4,13,15, 161 and 177 for crashes. According to Dye, the three most common factors in rural highway crashes are also the most common crashes on highways in general.


Speeding is the number one factor for crashes on highways. Speeding on rural highways is very common as often, traffic may be sparse and people use rural highway speeding as a way of gaining time. However, speeding in general can contribute to crashes as drivers have less response time and when crashes occur, they tend to be more serious due to the physics of the crash.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is another common factor in crashes. Drunk driving is a problem nationwide. Whether driving in the city or on rural highways, driving while under the influence is dangerous. Often, drivers believe their odds of being caught by patrol is lowered on rural highways, thus drunk driving may occur more often.

Distracted Driving

However, troopers believe distracted driving is a major reason the number of crashes increased in 2016 across the state. Distracted driving or inattentive driving is the number one cause of motor vehicle crashes across the country. Drivers engaged in distracted driving or inattentive driving miss signs, fail to see other vehicles and anything else in the potential path of their vehicle.

October 18, 2016

A 48 year-old woman of Columbia died after her minivan struck the rear of a dump truck on Illinois 158 near Roenicke Road.

December 9, 2016.

A crash on Illinois 58 involved a SUV and a truck killed three people: a 48 year-old Belleville, man, and two passengers: a 74 year old Columbia man, and a 24 year old Dupo man.

December 19, 2016.

A 68 year-old Millstadt woman was killed after a SUV crossed the center line and struck her sedan head-on on Illinois 158 near Rochtown Road.

Slow Down and Put the Phone Away

Troopers say that no matter what roadways you are traveling, you should refrain from speeding and put away any device that distracts drivers. “People need to slow down pay attention to what they’re doing. A lot of it is speed, and a lot of them may be on their phones, “according to Millstadt’s fire chief, Kurt Pellmann.

Millstadt firefighters went to 22 vehicle accidents on Illinois 158 in 2016 accounting for nearly half of the 48 crashes to which they responded during the year. According to the fire department’s log, most of the crashes recorded on that road resulted in injuries.

IDOT has provided a list of five highway improvement projects it has completed between Belleville and Columbia in Illinois 158 in the past five years. IDOT said the projects were done in an effort to make the state highway safer and “to improve traffic operations by bringing the roadway up to policy standards”.

If You are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Crash

Seek immediate medical treatment, then call an expert car crash attorney immediately before talking with any insurance company.

Call our attorneys at (314) 276-1681.

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The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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