PONTIAC — A woman and her child were hospitalized Monday afternoon after being taken from an SUV that drove through an Interstate 55 guardrail and into the Vermilion River near Pontiac.

The two were taken to OSF HealthCare Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac, for evaluation. Livingston County sheriff's police said the child was flown from the Pontiac hospital to OSF HealthCare Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria in critical condition.

Their names and the woman's condition were not available Monday evening.

The woman was on top of the car, and the child was still inside the vehicle when first responders arrived. Illinois State Police said the initial call came at 12:37 p.m.

The Hudson Dive Team was called to the scene along with the Pontiac Fire Department. 

Witnesses said the vehicle was traveling south, went into the median and then into the river. Damage to the guardrail indicated where the white SUV apparently left the highway.

Fire crews used cables attached to the car from the bridge to pull the vehicle from the river.

Traffic from the southbound lanes of I-55 was rerouted to Route 66 at Exit 201, just north of Pontiac. Motorists were asked to avoid the area.

Last month, the driver of a semitrailer truck had to be rescued by boat at the same location. Roy Cagle, 53, of Johnston City was treated and released at a Pontiac hospital.

Photos: Woman, child inside car that drove into Vermilion River near Pontiac

Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow


Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

Load comments