Two Teen Deaths on I-74 Lead to Petition for Change In Interstate Conditions

By Joe Bennett

March 10, 2011 Updated Mar 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM CDT

A fatal car collision in late January that led to the deaths of two Tremont High School students has caused some to question construction conditions on a short strip of I-74.

News 25's Joe Bennett has more on a local petition that's quickly gaining support from all over the state.

Michael Honan Senior along with his wife Stephanie and the parents of Celine Estes are trying to prevent fatalities along a strip of Interstate 74.

That's where their children died after their vehicle crossed the median into oncoming traffic.

Karen Cassidy is helping the parents with their cause. She says, "Mike's original idea was to have petitions, and then we decided it would be great to utilize the Facebook generation."

The campaign urges IDOT to extend or enhance the guard rails near the Mitsubishi Motorway exit.

The Honans say a representative from the McLean County Coroner's office told them there have been six fatal accidents in that area in the last four years.

"Getting the guard rail put up will not bring anybody back," says Cassidy, "but it will prevent further deaths in the future."

The petition has gained more than 4,000 signatures in less than a month, thanks in large part to Avanti's Dome General Manager Steve Brown.

Brown says he I knows there are channels they have to go through. "But why not now immediately come out and add a section of guardrail at the request of all these citizens?"

A spokesperson for IDOT says operation crews have been out to investigate the area where the accident occurred on January 22nd.

While all the guardrails in this vicinity are up to code, IDOT says once the petition is completed and submitted, they will take the extension of the guardrail under consideration.

The petition's organizers say this is after all a commuter community, and a countless number of people have shared similar stories with them about the same small stretch of highway.

"Because a lot of the deaths have touched people in the community," says Cassidy," they want to prevent something like this from happening again."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.