CARBONDALE — The SIU campus community is mourning the loss of a student after a weekend traffic accident.
Kenton James Barrick, a senior in computer science, was killed in a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Chautauqua Street and McLafferty Road in Carbondale. The incident happened at 1:43 p.m. Sunday and involved a motorcycle and two other vehicles. Police are still investigating the accident details.
Three other students were injured in the accident: Courtney Hamilton, a junior in early childhood education, Zachary Valent, a senior majoring in art, and Jessica Kay Allee, a graduate student in art history.
Hamilton was taken to St. Louis University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
Valent and Allee were both treated at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and later released.
Two SIU radio-television associate professors, Jay Needham and Wago Lee Kreider, were also injured in the crash. They too were treated at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and released.
SIU Carbondale Chancellor Rita Cheng expressed sympathy for the loss and injuries in a statement. The university made counselors available to student or other campus community members Monday.
“Please keep all of the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” Cheng said.
In her two years as a city councilwoman, Jane Adams said Monday she’s heard several complaints regarding the rate of speed at which traffic is allowed to travel along Chautauqua. While it’s unclear these issues contributed to Sunday’s accident, she added, she hopes the city will examine any lingering safety matters that need to be addressed.
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“That stretch of road has been a serious accident waiting to happen for a long time,” Adams said.
Officials are monitoring average speeds on the street by way of a monitoring device recently posted in the area, Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity said. The street sees roughly 4,000 to 5,000 for daily traffic, but with 11 accidents recorded in the last two years, Baity said the figures don’t show it to be a magnet for accidents.
“Is it a high accident area? No. But is it one that gets a significant amount of traffic? Yes,” he said.
Baity said the city can’t make changes to speed limits or other restrictions off the cuff but will be studying the area for possible future action.
Sunday’s accident is also the latest in what appears to be a growing trend of motorcycle accidents that result in death.
Fatal motorcycle accidents have gone up 13 percent in the last couple of years, according to new data from the Illinois Department of Transportation. State police say there is no single cause for the accidents, but even among the increase, actually collisions of motorcycles with other vehicles are declining.
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