Driver identified in I-64 wreck that killed 1 worker, injured 3 others

Driver identified in I-64 wreck that killed 1 worker, injured 3 others

Driver identified in I-64 wreck that killed 1 worker, injured 3 others

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 6:04 PM

I-64 East near Route 159

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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Illinois (KMOV)— Authorities have identified the driver who hit and killed a construction work and injured three others on Interstate 64 in Fairview Heights on Tuesday.

Police said Michael Jeter, 34, was driving on Interstate 64 near Illinois 159 around 9:40 a.m when he hit four contractors from Briteway Striping who were preparing to do pavement markings.

Two of the workers were airlifted and one was taken by ground to Saint Louis University Hospital. One of those workers, identified as Dennis Beard, was later pronounced dead.

A fourth worker was transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Jeter was taken to Memorial Hospital in Belleville. Their conditions were unknown.

After getting treated for injuries, Jeter was apparently sent home to West Frankfort, about 90 miles from the crash scene.

State police say they are now waiting on toxicology test results, which could take a month to determine if Jeter had drugs or alcohol in his system.

Police said they will also be looking at any previous medical condition that could have caused Jeter to cause the wreck.

A witness to the deadly crash told News 4 she saw the Jeter's car moving erratically moments before the crash. The witness, who did not want to be identified, said Jeter was in the left shoulder lane before veering towards the lines between the left and middle lanes of the highway.

The witness says she called 911 about Jeter, but seconds later he crashed into a construction vehicle where the four workers were standing.

Briteway Striping on Wednesday released a statement on Beard's death on the company's website:

"Briteway Striping Services, Inc. is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our dear friend and co-worker, Dennis J. Beard, and the injuries sustained in the I-64 accident in Fairview Heights, Illinois yesterday by our fellow co-workers, Kory Links, Adam Evans, and Brian Moore.

Dennis was a proud union laborer and valuable member of our team. He will truly be missed. Please keep the families of those involved in the accident, which are mourning and struggling to recover at this time, in your thoughts and prayers. Separate funds at Bradford Bank have been established in the memory of Dennis and those men injured, and further details can be found below.

Our company is cooperating with police and investigators and is temporarily ceasing work on all current projects for the next two weeks as we deal with this terrible tragedy."

The violent crimes unit of the state's attorney office is now involved and says its investigation depends on accident reconstruction experts and the many witnesses who saw the wreck.

Click here for information on how to donate money to each of the victims.

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