Manteno crash

Emergency personnel work to extract one victim, who would be transported in a LifeStar helicopter, on Wednesday afternoon from the scene of an accident that claimed at least one life near Manteno at the 321 mile marker of the southbound lanes of Interstate 57.

The driver of a semi-tractor trailer died in a crash with another semi-tractor trailer on Illinois Route 17 at North Bull Creek Road (17170E Road) two miles east of Grant Park on Thursday afternoon.

It marks the second straight day there has been a fatal crash on a highway in Kankakee County.

According to Illinois State Police District 21 at Ashkum, the driver of an eastbound semi on Illinois 17 crossed the center line and collided with a westbound semi at approximately 12:39 p.m.

The driver of the westbound semi was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver was transported to Riverside Medical Center with injuries.

Police are not releasing the names and the investigation continues.

Wednesday's crash

Jake H. Hemrick, 26, of Tampa, Fa., was killed in a crash involving two semi-tractor trailers and a car on Interstate 57 southbound a mile south of the Exit 322 mile marker at Manteno.

Hemrick, a front seat passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to state police, a back seat passenger in the car, Michelle M. Crowe, 24, of Boca Raton, Fla., died Wednesday night at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn where she was airlifted from the crash site.

The driver of the car, Jamie M. Depoy, 38, of Tampa, Fla., suffered life-threatening injuries. She was taken to Presence St. Mary's Hospital before being transported to Loyola University Medical Center.

A semi in front of the car slowed for traffic in a construction zone. The car behind it also slowed.

The second semi did not slow and ran into the back of the car, causing it to run into the back of the other semi.

Jesus Garcia, 68, of Clarendon Hills, was issued a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He was treated and released from Riverside.

The other semi driver, Joda Duncan Jr., 48, of Roseland, La., was treated and released at St. Mary's.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, there had been 11 fatalities in Kankakee County prior to Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, there had been 697 fatal crashes this year with 761 fatalities, 22 less than at this time in 2016.

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