Tragedy on Interstate 57 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Williamson County, IL

Tragedy on Interstate 57

Tragedy on Interstate 57
By: Arnold Wyrick

Williamson County, IL - An evening of partying for Raymond Ruzich, his two daughters, his girlfriend and her daughter came to a sudden end when they were hit head on by a semi-truck. The tragic accident happened on Interstate 57 Wednesday evening, that's when police say Jimmy "Joe" Storm of Union City, Tennessee lost control of his eighteen wheeler and crossed the median into oncoming traffic.

"The southbound semi actually struck the guardrail coming onto the bridge where the construction was taking place. The guardrail kept him within the highway and he basically slid down the concrete barrier," says Captain Scott Rice I.S.P. Commander District #13.

The semi continued into northbound traffic smashing into two other semi-trucks, and a pickup truck carrying two adults and three children. Leaving a pile of charred debris and twisted guardrails, and images seasoned investigators and first responders won't soon forget.

"Especially when you have young lives and the multiple victims. This was by far the worst and most tragic crash I've seen in my 16 years of law enforcement," Captain Rice said.

The tragic accident backed up traffic along Interstate 57 for miles, and shutdown the interstate for more then 12 hours as repair crews worked on the guardrails, and removal of vehicles from the scene.

As investigators try to figure out what caused Storm to crossover the median, friends and family members of the victims begin their grieving process.

The victims have been identified as:

  • 52-year-old Jimmy "Joe" Storm of Union City, Tennessee.
  • 43-year-old Raymond Ruzich, his 2 daughters 11-year-old Ashley, and 7-year-old Jeseca.
  • 29-year-old Shelly Smothers-Bonney, and her 10-year-old daughter Kaylynn Bonney.
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