A Pike County township is without gas this morning after a deadly accident over the weekend. At approximately 7PM on Saturday evening, a 2015 Ford truck driven by 93 year old Richard H. Schutte of New Canton was northbound on State Highway 96 just south of Illinois Route 106 west of Kinderhook when he veered off the roadway and struck a Nicor gas line substation.
Other drivers stopped and removed Schutte from his vehicle and away from the gas line that was spewing gas several feet into the air. Traffic was shut down for nearly 2 hours in either direction on Illinois 96 and Route 106, as well as traffic on a nearby railroad. Schutte was transported from the scene by Survival Flight helicopter to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The Pike County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Illinois State Police, Hull-Kinderhook Fire Department, New Canton Fire Department, and the Pike County Ambulance Service. Nicor maintenance crews are still working to restore gas service to the community of Kinderhook this evening, as crews could be seen excavating the site for repair and evacuating some residents for fear of an ignition, according to reports by Quincy’s WGEM. WLDS News will have more on this story as it becomes available.