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Local News

Missouri man's death marks 2nd fatal crash near I-55 construction zone

A "serious" crash closed both northbound and southbound lanes and claimed the life of at least one person on Interstate 55 near Lorenzo Road Thursday morning.
A "serious" crash closed both northbound and southbound lanes and claimed the life of at least one person on Interstate 55 near Lorenzo Road Thursday morning.

The death of a 34-year-old Missouri man marks the second fatal crash to occur just south of ongoing construction on a portion of Interstate 55 in Wilmington this year.

Shabbir Patel, 46, of Brampton, Ontario, was driving a semitrailer north on I-55 near Lorenzo Road about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when he failed to stop before crashing into stopped traffic in a construction zone, Illinois State Police said in a news release.

Patel struck two passenger cars, which a 20-year-old Godley woman and Kenneth Bloor, 34, of St. Peters, Missouri, were driving. Those vehicles hit two more semitrailers, which a 54-year-old Arkansas man and a 50-year-old Rolling Meadows man were driving.

Patel, Bloor and the Godley woman were taken to area hospitals. Bloor was pronounced dead at 10:31 a.m. at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, according to the Will County Coroner’s Office. The Godley woman suffered serious injuries and was flown from the scene of the crash.

Police did not provide information about Patel’s condition, but did charge him with following too closely and failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

Northbound lanes in the area of the crash were closed for about eight hours Thursday.

Lamonte Dion Tate, 31, of St. Louis, was traveling north in a semitrailer on I-55 about 4:30 p.m. July 25 toward the construction zone south of Arsenal Road, state police said. Traffic was backed up south of Lorenzo Road, but Tate reportedly failed to stop in time, causing a fiery chain-reaction crash. He died on the scene.

Northbound I-55 in the area of the fatal crashes is reduced to one lane, as ongoing Illinois Department of Transportation work takes place. Lane reductions will remain until later this month and resume in the spring, IDOT has said. The entire project, including shoulder widening and bridge deck repairs, is expected to be completed in fall 2020. The department recommends Interstate 80 and Route 47 as alternative routes.

State police have dedicated special patrols to the area to enforce traffic laws and enhance safety, IDOT said previously.

“Be prepared to stop suddenly,” state police wrote in a Facebook post about the area.

Troopers responded to another crash about 2 p.m. Friday in the same location that caused lane blockage, but no injuries were reported, Master Sgt. DeAnn Falat said.

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