Victim identified in fatal crash at 8th & Adams - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Victim identified in fatal crash at 8th & Adams

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Picture provided by Casey Simons Picture provided by Casey Simons
Picture provided by Casey Simons Picture provided by Casey Simons
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday's fatal crash on Quincy's South side as  Matthew Fulmer, 30, of Quincy.

Adams County Coroner Jim Keller says an autopsy has been completed, but a cause of death won't be known until results come back.

Eyewitness accounts and 9-1-1 calls are helping police piece together what happened in the moments before a truck crashed into a building and erupted into flames.

"There's a maroon Dodge Ram heading west on Ohio Street towards the river," one 9-1-1 caller described. "It just blew through two stop signs and almost hit a little kid."

"He's just smoking his tires after he gets through the stop sign," described another caller.

This all happened around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. The fire caused extensive damage to the building at 8th and Adams, which is the current home of The Crossing Thrift Store. 

The Quincy Police Department says several people called 9-1-1 that afternoon to report a driver speeding down 8th Street. Officers say the truck ran a stop sign at Jefferson and jumped the curb from Madison to Monroe before reaching that intersection. 

Witnesses say the crash, the fire and the destruction all started with a driver going too fast down 8th Street.

"Next thing we knew there was a truck going like 80 miles per hour up the sidewalk," said Titus Johnson. 

Witnesses say the truck then hit a fence around the Blessed Sacrament playground, flipped, and crashed into the thrift store and burst into flames. It was a terrifying sight for two boys who were getting ready to ride their bikes when it happened.

"We almost got hit, if we had been three or four more feet into the road, we would have died," said Andrew Gilday.  

Fire Chief Joe Henning says by the time crews arrived, the vehicle and most of the building were fully engulfed. He says the driver was already dead, but no one was found inside the building. He says the first and second floor were burning and the flames proved tough to put out.

"We had the fire pretty much knocked down, we were doing some searches inside. We did pull one pet out as crews were rotating to get breaks, fire flared back up so we kept escalating," he said.

Henning says the blaze eventually became a four alarm fire, mainly because of the heat. More firefighters were called in to help give the others a break and to keep crews fresh. 

As neighbors watched it all unfold, many of them couldn't believe what had happened.

"Someone must have lost their mind to be coming up like that, flying through a school zone. There are kids here, school just got out, people walking plus people riding bikes on the sidewalk. I guess you never in your life expect something like this to happen," said Johnson. 

There's an apartment in the upper floor of the building that was damaged, but no one was home at the time.

But the woman who lived in that apartment lost everything in the fire. The Columbus Road Baptist Church has started a collection to help her.

Contact the church at (217) 222-5891 if you would like to donate.

For longtime Quincy residents, that building was formerly known as the Mounds Club. It was turned into the Crossing Thrift Store in 2009. Officials at the Crossing confirm it was one of their workers that was injured and taken to Blessing Hospital, but they say she is doing fine. 

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