Five killed, six injured from church group in Illinois van crash

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2013 3:22 PM

By Tim Bross

ST. LOUIS, Mo (Reuters) - Five people were killed and six were injured Monday morning when a van carrying them home from a religious gathering in California rolled over off of Interstate 70 near Vandalia in southern Illinois, police said.

Fayette County Sheriff's Department Deputy Shawn Carter said the van had Maryland plates, but the van's destination is as yet undetermined.

Carter said the van was eastbound about four miles west of Vandalia, which is about 70 miles northeast of St. Louis, when it went into the median, then crossed back over eastbound I-70, and rolled several times south of the highway.

Carter said the five people who died were thrown from the white 2002 Dodge van.

Four of the injured were taken to Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia and were in fair condition, a spokeswoman said. Two were taken to Greenville Regional Hospital in Greenville, Illinois, but their conditions were not immediately available.

Both eastbound lanes of 70 are closed while the crash is being investigated and will remain closed through mid-afternoon, police said.

(Reporting by Tim Bross; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Bob Burgdorfer)