Semi driver may have fallen asleep before I-55 crash

By WEEK producer

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 7:15 PM CDT

PONTIAC, Ill. – Illinois State Police continue to investigate a fiery crash that damaged the Vermilion River Bridge on Interstate 55 near Pontiac.

Authorities say Timothy Carter, 28, of Independence, Missouri, was traveling northbound on I-55 at approximately 7:45 p.m. Sunday when his semi tractor trailer left the roadway and struck the bridge. It then rolled down an embankment and caught fire. Smoke from the crash could be seen for miles.

Officers say during their investigation they developed indications that Carter may have fallen asleep prior to the crash.

He was transported to OSF St. James Hospital in Pontiac with minor injuries.

The Vermilion River bridge was closed to traffic and a detour was in place Sunday night and some of Monday as the Illinois Department of Transportation inspected the bridge for structural damage.

The right lane of northbound traffic was re-opened at 3 p.m. Monday. The left lane will remain closed until repairs are completed.