VANDALIA, Ill.—Illinois State Police say five people were killed and six others injured when a van in which they were riding left Interstate 70 near Vandalia and rolled several times on Monday.
Authorities said 11 people were inside a white van traveling on eastbound I-70 around 10 a.m. when the vehicle left the side of the roadway at mile marker 57.
The vehicle rolled multiple times and several passengers were ejected.
State police spokesman Mark Zimmerman says the five died at the scene. Reportedly, all five fatalities were passengers who were thrown from the vehicle.
The other six occupants of the van remained in the vehicle, and suffered injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to unconsciousness. Five survivors were transported to hospitals. Four were taken to Fayette County Hospital in fair condition and three were later transferred to other hospitals.
A fifth individual was taken to Greenville Regional Hospital in an unknown condition.
It’s not yet clear what caused the accident. The van and an accompanying pickup were carrying a group of men from California back to Maryland where they are from.
The local ministerial alliance is putting travelers who were in the accompanying vehicle in hotels until they can continue home.
The Fayette County Coroner says the accident is the worst he’s seen in his 13 years and it will be difficult to identify the deceased because none of them were carrying any identification
Both lanes of eastbound I-70 were closed while crews cleared the scene.
Vandalia is located about 70 miles east of St. Louis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.