HUDSON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a central Illinois firefighter was killed and five of his colleagues injured when a tractor-trailer hit three emergency vehicles.
The emergency responders were working at the scene of a previous freeway accident at the time. The name of the dead firefighter from the village of Hudson hasn't been released.
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling says that at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, emergency responders were dispatched to a multiple-vehicle wreck on southbound Interstate 39 near Hudson.
An hour later, a southbound tractor-trailer hauling a load of automobiles lost control and hit three of the emergency vehicles belonging to the Hudson Community Fire Protection District and the Illinois State Police.
All of the injured were taken to a hospital in Normal.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Press release from Hudson Community Fire Protection District,
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling releases the following information concerning a motor vehicle fatality that occurred on the evening of Tuesday, March 5th 2013 in Hudson, IL. At approximately 2145 hours, MetCom received a 911 call in reference to a multiple vehicle incident on southbound I-39 near mile marker 6 in Hudson. Fire and police units were dispatched. Then at approximately 2245 hours, a southbound semi-tractor trailer carrying a load of automobiles lost control and struck three official first responder vehicles belonging to Hudson Community Fire Protection District (HCFPD) and the Illinois State Police (ISP). Six members of HCFPD were injured and transported to Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center in Normal. At 2238 hours on March 5th, a member of the Hudson Fire Department succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by Emergency Department Staff.
"Today we lost a member of our Hudson family. We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones, and we must not forget the valuable contributions be made to this community and the impact he has left on the Hudson Fire Department," said Chief Dan Hite, Hudson Community Fire Protection District. "The Hudson Fire Department is a close-knit family, and the loss of one of our own affects us all. A tragedy of this type is felt by each and every member, but together we can make it through. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
We ask that at this time that all media please allow our Department and families time to grieve. Any questions specific to the Hudson Fire Department can be directed to Chief Dan Hite at 309-824-2226 or Capt. Shane Hill, HFD Public Affairs Officer at 309-310-3788.
An autopsy will be scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th. The identity of this firefighter will be released along with preliminary autopsy results later in the business day. Any questions regarding the death investigation may be directed to Coroner Beth Kimmerling.
An Accident Reconstructionist from the Illinois State Police has been assigned to the incident and is working with the Coroner's Office and Hudson Fire Department on the circumstances surrounding this crash.