Watch CBS News

Officials identify five people killed in truck crash that led to ammonia leak in downstate Illinois

CBS News Live
CBS News Chicago Live

TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. (CBS) -- Authorities have identified five people who died after a crash in downstate Illinois involving a semi-trailer truck transporting anhydrous ammonia, which led to a leak last week

According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the semi-truck was carrying about 7,500 gallons of anhydrous ammonia when it was involved in the multi-vehicle crash Friday night. According to estimates, about 4,000 gallons of the anhydrous ammonia were released before the leak was partially patched. 

The scene was secured, and residents of the village of Teutopolis were evacuated until Saturday evening, authorities said. Several vehicles were also abandoned at the scene.

A preliminary investigation has determined that five people died from exposure to anhydrous ammonia at the crash site, and all have now been identified. They are:

  • Danny J. Smith, 67, of New Haven, Missouri
  • Vasile Cricovan, 31, of Twinsburg, Ohio
  • Kenneth Bryan, 34, of Teutopolis, Illinois and his two children:
  • Rosie Bryan, 7, of Beecher City, Illinois
  • Walker Bryan, 10, of Beecher City, Illinois

Autopsies were to be conducted Monday morning at the Champaign County Regional Autopsy Center in Urbana.

Five people were also airlifted from the scene due to exposure to anhydrous ammonia:

  • Terrie Tudor, 61, of Union, Missouri
  • John Costello, 19, of from Olathe, Kansas
  • Sara Tague, 18, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota
  • Anja Dangelmaier, 18, of Arlington, Texas
  • Jacob Bloemker, 24, of Brownstown, Illinois

Two others were taken to HSHS St. Anthony Hospital in Effingham after exposure at the scene:

  • Weston Hemmerling, 18, of Kansas City, Kansas
  • Charlie Whitt, 66, from Green Castle, Indiana

Authorities also learned several people were also being treated at HSHS St. Anthony, and Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana, due to anhydrous ammonia exposure when they went through the scene of the crash.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation, local police and fire, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Transportation Safety Board responded to the scene. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ammonia in high levels can irritate and burn the skin, mouth, throat, lungs, and eyes. Very high levels can also damage the lungs or cause death. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.