Fatal crash prompts citizens to call for improved safety on Route 3

COLUMBIA, IL - A fatal crash that took the life of an Illinois mother and injured 6 of her children Tuesday is renewing calls by some to step up efforts to make a stretch of Illinois Route 3 near Veterans Parkway safer.

Emily Webb was killed in the crash and two of the injured children are in critical condition.  An investigation by the Illinois State Police is underway after a dump truck crashed into the family SUV.  The Belleville News Democrat reports one witness believes it is possible the dump truck driver, 86-year-old Donald Eccher, ran a red light.

Teresa Fehrenz says it is difficult for her to drive through the intersection because it is the same place where her son was involved in a fatal crash in 2010.

“I don’t want to hear of another fatality,” she said.

Fehrenz joined a Facebook group calling for safety improvements along that stretch of Illinois Route 3.  Tara Masidonski ki started the page in 2015.  She said it had 300 followers until this most recent crash.  As of Wednesday night, there were more than 2,000 followers sharing stories about close calls on Route 3.

“We need some major change because this is going to happen again,” said Masitonski.  “It’s inevitable.”

IDOT indicated an investigation into this most recent fatal crash must first be completed.  The Illinois State Police is handling that investigation.  Masidonski and Fehrenz say drivers routinely speed and run red lights.

“We don’t know what the answer is but there’s a lot of concern in the community because this is constantly a problem,” saidMasidonski.  “There’s accidents all the time.”

She encourages anyone wanting safety improvements to contact their elected leaders.