FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Illinois (KMOV)— The wife of a man killed in a wreck on I-64 on Tuesday says she’s bothered the person responsible continues to drive.
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. One of the injured workers was released from the hospital on Thursday and two others have been upgraded from serious to fair condition.
Jeter was taken to Memorial Hospital in Belleville. After getting treated for injuries, Jeter was apparently sent home to West Frankfort, about 90 miles from the crash scene.
State police admit they had little choice but to let Jeter go. Police said Jeter did consent to a toxicology test to see if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash occurred.
And because he consented, he didn’t have to surrender his license.
“Depending on toxicology and what the charges are then there could be ramifications to his driving privileges,” said Capt. Brad Parsons with Illinois State Police.
Parsons said he could understand why there may be concern about Jeter driving around.
“Yes I can understand that but until we complete the case and investigation, we can’t take or suspend his driver’s license,” he said.
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.
Completing the case involves accident reconstruction and statements from witnesses, including the workers on the highway and the drivers who reportedly saw the car weaving in lanes and shoulders.
As hard as it may seem for the victim’s families, police say they can’t rush to judgment with the driver.
Yet given how horrific the crash was and the loss of life, police said some charges seem inevitable.