Perry Co. (IL) Crash Kills One and Injuries Four - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry Co. (IL) Crash Kills One and Injuries Four

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By Julia Bruck - email

PERRY COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - A Perry County, Illinois family mourns the loss of a loved one. 

Charles Solt, 20, of Coulterville, Illinois died Monday afternoon not long after the car he was riding in was hit by a truck.  Four others were injured in the crash just outside of Tamaora.

Words of past good times still remain on 1997 Chevrolet involved in the accident.  However, the words were not shattered by Monday afternoon's deadly accident.

"The car they were in was pretty smashed on the passenger side," said Robert Knapp.  "The truck, big four wheel drive truck it was pretty tore out on the front end."

Knapp lives just feet away from the intersection of Falcon and Grosbeak roads northwest of Tamaora.  Knapp says his nephew, 19-year-old Thomas Bittles, had just left his home with three other friends in the Chevrolet.

"My nephew, he was pretty bloody, cuts, and pinned in the car," Knapp said.

"Everybody got there close to the same time with the law enforcement, ambulances, and fire departments.  Yes, all the four kids were still inside the vehicle trapped and unconscious for the most part," Perry County Sheriff Keith Kellerman said.

Kellerman says the Jaws of Life cut away the back passenger door to help the others inside, including 17-year-old Brianna Steal, 17-year-old Danielle Burton, and 20-year-old Charles Solt.  All were flown to St. Louis for treatment, where Solt later died.  The driver of the pickup, Travis Reidelberger, was taken to Pinckneyville Hospital and was later released.

As Heartland News spoke with Knapp about the accident, Solt's parents arrived at the crash site.  They asked Knapp to recall what he had seen just 24 hours earlier.

"Heard a bang and looked out the window, and I didn't really see anything.  Until you go out the door," Knapp said.

According to the Perry County Sheriff, the truck hit the Chevrolet in the middle of an intersection.  By the skid marks, you can see where the truck ended up in the ditch.  Parts of the car remained in the field where it ended up Tuesday. 

"We've been waiting for it to happen," Knapp said.  "Lot of close calls out there with no stop signs." 

"Everybody knows there are certain areas in (the) county, just Perry County (IL) where the intersections are not marked.  People have a duty to approach an intersection with care," Sheriff Kellerman said.

The speed limit on unmarked Perry County, Illinois roads is 55 miles per hour.  

As of Tuesday evening, Bittles was in critical condition, while Burton and Stehl were stable. 

The accident is still under investigation.

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