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Indiana couple dies in Illinois Route 17 crash

Laura and Barry Basham of Shelby, Indiana were identified as the victims who died in a fiery crash Thursday morning near Momence.

District 21 State Police and the Kankakee County Coroner's office spent much of Thursday in the investigation. A reconstruction team continues to investigate.

The Basham vehicle was crushed between two semi trucks in a construction zone along Routes 1/17 at 9250 E Road, southwest of Momence. It happened a little before 8:30 am.

Route 17 traffic was shut down for about five hours.

State Police reported 64-year-old Laura Basham and 61-year-old Barry Basham were pronounced dead at the scene.

The drivers of the two semi trucks involved were treated at Riverside Hospital in Kankakee.

Truck driver Krzysztof Sulkowski of Chicago was ticketed for Failure to Reduce Speed.

The second truck driver was identified as 42-year-old Troy Farney of Forrest (IL).

State police report westbound traffic was stopped by a flagger in a construction zone. One lane was open Farney's semi was stopped. So was a car driven by Laura Basham, the car behind the semi.

Sulkowski's semi ran into the rear of the Basham car, crushing it into the back of the Farney semi. The Basham vehicle and semi burst into flames. Police report a fourth vehicle driven by Janice Billadeau of Momence ran off the road into a ditch to avoid hitting the semi.

Several emergency responders were on the scene, including State Police, Kankakee County Sheriff's Police, Momence Police and Fire, Kankakee Fire, County Coroner, Illinois EPA and Illinois Department of Transportation.

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  • Parent Category: News


                                                  Excessive Speed lands Bourbonnais Man in Jail

A Bourbonnais man was arrested by Illinois State Police (ISP) for speeding 106 mph in a construction zone. District 21 at Ashkum reports 25year-old Mark McKune faces charges of Excessive Speed and Reckless Driving.

On Monday, just before 4 pm, a trooper was on patrol in the construction zone on Interstate 57 in Kankakee County. The trooper observed a vehicle in traveling 106 mph in the 45 mph construction zone. McKune was cited for excessive speed, reckless driving, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and illegal registration plate cover.

Captain Bridget Bertrand advises the public, "The Illinois State Police is diligently enforcing speed and distracted driving within construction zones. The public is encouraged to use caution and to slow down as posted in the construction zones."

The Illinois State Police has deployed additional tools to help with the enforcement of the "Fatal Four" Violations in the construction zones. The photo enforcement van is being deployed in the construction zones in Kankakee County. The photo enforcement van will prove to be a vital tool in encouraging motorist to slow down and drive the posted speed limit in the construction zones.

The Illinois state Police wants to remind drivers of the "Fatal Four" Violations:
• Speeding
• Driving Under the Influence
• Seatbelts
• Distracted Driving

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  • Parent Category: News

Traffic fatality in Jasper County, Indiana

One man is dead after a one-car accident today in Jasper County, Indiana. 36-year-old Jason Hopkins of Goodland (IN) was driving on County Road 700 S when his vehicle left the road and hit a tree. The vehicle then rolled on to its top. Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene.

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  • Parent Category: News

Route 17 crash still under investigation >

An update on that fiery crash on Route 17 near Momence.

The Kankakee County Coroner's office now reports one person is believed dead after a car, a dump truck and a semi truck collided this morning.

The accident happened on Route 17 at County Road 9500 E...southwest of Momence.

Emergency crews are still on the scene. Route 17 was closed. A detour was set up.

One fireman at the scene said it appeared the car and dump truck were stopped in a construction zone. The semi though, failed to stop and pushed the car into the rear of the dump truck. A fire erupted.

The fire official said no hazardous material was involved. The investigation continues.

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  • Parent Category: News

George Ryan Jr. guilty of drunk driving

The son of former Governor George Ryan faces a November 7th sentencing date after being found guilty of drunken driving.

George "Homer" Ryan Jr. was found guilty Wednesday of DUI. He was arrested last November in Bradley when police found him asleep in his vehicle, with the engine running, at a fast-food parking lot.

Police said Ryan failed a field sobriety test and declined chemical testing.

At the sentencing, Ryan faces up to a year in jail, a $2,500 fine and a one-year suspension of his license. But Ryan, who has no criminal record, can also receive court supervision, which would give him a chance to avoid a DUI conviction.

Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Susan Tungate issued the DUI ruling after a bench trial.

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