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Five victims identified in fatal I-57 crash near West Frankfort
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Five victims identified in fatal I-57 crash near West Frankfort


CARBONDALE — The Illinois State Police has identified five people killed in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon, just north of the West Frankfort exit on Interstate 57 northbound.

Magnolia G. Armstrong, 80, Coraleen A. Luellen, 78, Peggy Jackson Armstrong, 75, Helen Elizabeth Armstrong, 78, and Harold Edward Armstrong, 76, all of Memphis, died when their 2019 Ford Expedition SUV rear-ended a semitrailer around 1:50 p.m. Thursday.

Andrea E. Lesure, age 59, also of Memphis, survived the crash and is being treated for injuries at a Southern Illinois hospital, ISP said in a news release. Her injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

According to family friend Quincy Jones, also of Memphis, the group was headed to Chicago to attend a funeral.

I-57 northbound was closed for nearly five hours after the crash and reopened about 7 p.m. Thursday. Southbound lanes remained open Thursday afternoon.

Preliminary investigations indicate the semi, a 2006 Freightliner 5 axle combination, was on the right side of Interstate 57 when it was hit by the SUV driven by Magnolia Armstrong.

The driver of the semi was identified as Dawit Tekeste Gebermichael, 38, of Houston.

The investigation is ongoing, ISP said.


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