Fourth person dies in I-55 wreck that killed sisters

HAMEL, Ill. - A fourth person died after last week’s multi-vehicle crash near Hamel, Illinois last week. Tori Carroll, 20, was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon. But she did not die before she could give the gift of life to others.

People in the Staunton area woke up to news that Tori was in her final hours of life and her family was waiting for doctors to remove Tori’s organs to be donated to others in need.

Friends said she let her family know that’s what she wanted done if she were to die.

“What an amazing girl,” said Wendy Harbison, a family friend. “There’s no other words beside how loved and how she loved people and to help people.”

Tori Carroll was from Alhambra. She was riding in a car with her close friends, Hailey and Madisen Bertels, on Interstate 55 on November 21 when a big rig slammed into seven vehicles, including the Bertels’ car. Hailey and Madisen were killed in the crash. They were 17 and 20 years of age, respectively.

Tori had been in the hospital in critical condition.

Dan Cox, superintendent of Staunton Community Unit School District No. 6, said Tori was exceptionally bright and graduated from college as a result.

“She was able, from taking the dual credits here…Allowed her to graduate in three years at Murray State and she was enrolled in law school at Kentucky,” Cox said.

A college student from Joplin was also killed and eight other people injured. The third victim, Vivian Vu, died days after the accident. Vu was one of six Missouri Southern University students and a professor traveling back to Joplin from a Model UN Conference in Chicago. She was a sophomore at Missouri Southern.