5-Year-Old Semi Passenger Killed in Accident Involving Merging Motorist
St. Claire County, IL – A 5-year-girl from Texas was killed in an accident Monday morning when the semi-truck she was riding in crashed on the Poplar Street Bridge.
According to a spokesman for the Illinois State Police (ISP), the accident occurred just before 5:40 a.m. on Monday.
ISP said a 2014 Peterbilt semi-truck was hauling a 34,000 lb. piece of aluminum on a flatbed trailer and traveling in a construction area of the bridge, which connects Missouri and Illinois, near St. Louis.
According to a report by local news outlet KMOV, officials indicated the accident may have occurred when a motorist attempted to merge onto the bridge.
The semi then struck the concrete center median of the bridge, which caused the load of aluminum to become unstrapped and shift forward.
The load struck the back of the semi-truck and caused the Peterbilt to overturn on the driver’s side.
Investigators said when the truck overturned, a 5-year-old girl, who was traveling in the truck’s sleeper, was ejected.
The child was transported to a nearby hospital, but later died as a result from her injuries, authorities said.
Her identity has not yet been released.
However, the driver of the semi was identified as 44-year-old Janette Kirby from Texarkana, TX.
Also riding inside the semi were two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17, also from Texarkana.
Kirby and the boys were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
The relationship between Kirby and the passengers was not immediately made clear by ISP.
All eastbound lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge were closed during morning rush hour as investigators and clean-up crews were on the scene.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the accident.
Authorities say no charges are expected at this time.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the accident and bring you updates as they become available.
WATCH more from the scene below courtesy of KSDK News/YouTube.