Illinois State Police said 26-year-old Ryan Kayne Jenkins of Nauvoo was killed Wednesday in a three-vehicle crash along Illinois 96 near Nauvoo-Colusa Junior High.
The incident appears to have started in Iowa, where Fort Madison Police Captain Rob Hogan said an off-duty officer followed a green PT Cruiser from Burlington to Ft. Madison. The officer said it was going over 100 mph and driving recklessly, hitting guardrails between Burlington and Fort Madison.
Hogan said when officers found the car on 19th Street in Ft. Madison, it was abandoned, but he said a man told them the driver got out of the car, stole his black pickup truck and took off.
Hogan said a toll booth operator on the Santa Fe Swing Span Bridge - which connects Iowa to Illinois - saw the truck blow past the toll booth. The toll booth operator told police the driver had no passengers.
Hogan said his department then contacted the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. Hogan said no officers caught the driver in Fort Madison or pursued him because they didn't spot him.
Illinois State Police troopers said when the driver was outside Nauvoo shortly after 4 p.m., the black pickup truck was traveling south on Illinois 96 near the junior high school, when it crossed the center line and clipped a trailer being pulled by another truck heading north. The driver of the black truck then spun around and crashed head-on with a grain truck also heading north. Troopers said the black pickup truck then caught fire, killing the driver.
The driver of the grain truck, 64-year-old Artchie L. Kirby, was taken to Fort Madison Community Hospital where Illinois State Police says he was treated and released with minor injuries. The driver of the truck pulling the trailer, 59-year-old Mark L. Turner, did not sustain any injuries, troopers said. Both were wearing seatbelts, but troopers say the driver of the black pickup truck who was killed was not wearing his.
Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Brad Beekman said it's going to take awhile before they know the entire story.
"It would take quite some time before we're able to use the information we collect out here at the crash scene and calculate those types of facts," Beekman said.
Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, Hancock County Coroner's Office, Nauvoo Fire Department and the Niota Fire Department. The crash is under investigation.
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