Local Dairy Queen helping raise money for families of I-55 crash - KMOV.com

Local Dairy Queen helping raise money for families of I-55 crash victims

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HAMEL, Il. (KMOV.com) -- It's been nearly a week since the massive crash on Interstate 55 northeast of St. Louis killed three and injured a dozen more. A semi slammed into multiple cars on the highway, causing a massive pileup.  

News four is learning the 53-year-old semi driver has not been charged or ticketed, despite police acknowledging he was at fault.

Illinois State Police say the driver of the hasn’t been charged because crash investigators want to do a thorough investigation and doing so takes time.  

They  know speed was a problem, but are looking at everything from the 53-year-old semi-driver's blood and alcohol content level to the paperwork filed for his trip along Interstate 55.

Meanwhile, a community is coming together in support of the victims’ families while they wait for more.

For Art Oppermann, the deadly eight-vehicle crash in Hamel one day before Thanksgiving revealed something unexpected.

"It's kind of brought out the best in the community, I think,” said Oppermann, who runs a local Dairy Queen. “From seeing the positive reactions people have had with the support they've given to the family."

The Dairy Queen on Herman Road is hoping they can help the grieving families better deal with a tragedy by bringing the community together.

"We are just hoping to get a tons of people in here and raise as much money as possible to help these guys out during such a difficult time," Oppermann said.

The restaurant plans to give away money from all Blizzards sold Wednesday, which is usually around 150 per day at this point in the year.

"Hopefully, by the end of the day, we are sold out of ice cream,” he said. "I think the message is just the people in the community have your back and we are all here for each other when times are tough."

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