The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois Department of Transportation are asking the public to slow down on IL-267 south of Murrayville after multiple accidents have occurred.
IDOT crews are currently working on 267 from Midway Road to the Greene Morgan County line. Three separate accidents have occurred in the construction zone since yesterday afternoon with several “near misses” including IDOT workers who have nearly been struck by traffic.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Derrick Suttles says he was stopped by IDOT personnel this morning for help with getting traffic to slow down and pay attention before someone gets hurt.
Yesterday at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, officers and EMS responded to a two-vehicle accident that occurred when a vehicle traveling south toward the construction zone rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped waiting for the southbound traffic to be allowed to pass the construction.
The driver of the first vehicle told officers he was distracted by his radio and did not see the stopped vehicle. No injuries were reported, however, both vehicles were towed from the scene and EMS responded due to an infant being one of the occupants of the vehicle that was struck from behind.
A second accident occurred at approximately 7:45 this morning in the same stretch of road when a woman struck a guardrail after almost hitting an IDOT worker. She told police her truck would not stop in time and she swerved to avoid hitting the individual.
Deputy Suttles says yet another near-miss happened later this morning, and traffic needs to slow down. “ And today there was another one just a bit ago where an individual wasn’t paying attention, traffic was stopped and he swerved to go around stopped vehicles as he couldn’t get stopped quick enough and he did not cause any damage. However, there are reports from IDOT that the sign holder has been nearly struck several times. A lot of it just has to do with people not paying attention.
We are wanting to get the notice out to the public to please slow down and pay attention. IDOT has plenty of orange signs up prior to the area that they are working in. We don’t want to have to handle any kind of personal injury or fatal accidents in the work zone while they are trying to repair our highways down here.”
Suttles says the area of road being repaired does not give workers much room to be safe and little to no room to try and escape an errant vehicle. “It’s very narrow and when they have pavers, trucks, and things like that working in the opposite lane, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for vehicles traveling the opposite direction in the other lane. There may be a worker standing next to a machine, and you know you’re talking inches between that worker and the vehicle that’s traveling by them.
It seems to be one of our smaller roads in Morgan County as far as the short shoulders and there’s just not a lot of room for any kind of error out on 267. It’s from Midway Road on 267 all the way to the Greene/Morgan County Line and they are pretty much sprinkled throughout the whole area of that eight or ten-mile stretch.”
No injures have been reported in any of the accidents so far, however, citations have been issued in all of them. Deputy Suttles says Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies are on scene and will be stepping up patrols and the Murrayville-Woodson Police will also be patrolling as much as possible to help minimize the risk of more accidents.
They are asking motorists to please slow down and pay attention in the work zone.