Dangerous Overpasses in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jefferson County, IL

Dangerous Overpasses in the Heartland

Dangerous Overpasses in the Heartland
By: Arnold Wyrick

Jefferson Co., IL - A disturbing trend is taking place in one Southern Illinois community. Illinois State Police say truckers are being targeted by items thrown from overpasses as they drive along Interstate 57 and Interstate 64 in the Mount Vernon area.

"Since February 2005 we've had approximately 20 incidents where items have been thrown off the overpasses, mainly at semi-trucks," says Captain Scott Rice, I.S.P. Commander of District 13.

What started out as mailboxes and lawn chairs has advanced to rocks sometimes as big as a basketball.

"A rock just like this one recently went through a passenger window of a truck, it went through the passenger seat and into the rear wall of the sleeping berth of the semi. I don't think I need to explain the damage to the driver, it would most likely kill them," Captain Rice said.

The suspect, or suspects are choosing overpasses that have no exit, or entrance ramps to the interstate. And police say who ever is doing this, knows the lay of the land because they're also choosing locations that they can see any approaching vehicles on the road their on.

Now the word of dangerous overpasses is making it's way around the eighteen-wheeler world, as drivers warn fellow truckers about what's going on in Jefferson County.

"Yes I heard about it. That's why I slow down at overpasses. It's a shame that people are doing that, because I've seen it done before and it killed people," says Bryan Albertson of Doniphan, Missouri.

That's why police are asking for the public's help in tracking down who is responsible for these rock throwing incidents. And police aren't taking these incidents lightly.

"If anyone doesn't understand the seriousness of dropping a projectile onto a vehicle, I can assure them that they will when they are arrested. They're going to understand the seriousness of it, because we're going to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," says Gary Duncan Jefferson County State's Attorney.

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