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Peoria crash kills two, critically injuries negligent driver

Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal car accident in Peoria they say was due to a driver who was too anxious to make a turn. The driver is hospitalized with severe injuries and battling for his life. Two passengers who were in his vehicle died in the Tuesday afternoon car crash on State Route 24.

Troopers say a westbound SUV was turning left onto Banner Marsh Road around 4 p.m., when a garbage truck coming the opposite direction on Route 24 slammed into it. The sport utility vehicle, occupied by the three accident victims, was struck so hard by the trash truck that it took rescuers three hours to reach the men in the wreckage.

Two were already dead. The passengers who lost their lives were both 31-year-old Peoria residents. The driver survived and was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center with injuries police described as life-threatening.

The identity of the critically injured man is being withheld by police. Authorities said the SUV driver was cited for driving with an expired license and failing to yield. The 52-year-old, Creve Coeur man behind the wheel of the garbage hauler was not hurt or blamed for the fatal collision.

The SUV driver either misjudged the speed and distance of the trash truck or realized the danger of pulling out in front of it and ignored the possible outcome.

A small infraction like a driver's willingness to break a rule to move quickly through traffic can carry a permanent cost. Carelessness on the road increases the injury or death risks for a driver, the passengers with him and all the people and vehicles in the driver's path.

A driver's poor judgment can end or change lives in a fraction of a second. Tragic accidents can often be traced to negligence. Some drivers pay the greatest price of all by losing their lives. Others survive and must live with the personal and legal consequences of what they have done.

Source: cantondailyledger.com, "Two dead in SUV collision with trash hauler near Banner; victims identified," May 31, 2012

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