(ONARGA TWP.) An 80-year-old northwest man died late Wednesday after , being struck by a car on I-57 downstate when he tried to help another man who had also been hit by a car.
The first man, a 58-year-old from Tennessee, was hit by a car while trying to retrieve a tire that came off his car and also died, Illinois State Police said.
After losing the driver's side tire and rim of his vehicle on northbound I-57 near milepost 277 in Onarga Township, Jimmy Lee Westbrook, 58, of Brownsville, Tenn. got out and tried to retrieve the tire, which had rolled into the center median.
As Westbrook crossed back into the northbound lanes with his tire, he was fatally struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by 61-year-old man from Summit, an ISP release said.
Jack S. Douglas, 80, of Bartlett, stopped to assist Westbrook, who was lying in the roadway in traffic, the release said. He helped Westbrook's female passenger drag Westbrook onto the shoulder out of traffic, state police said.
Douglas spoke with the woman and said he would call for help, but when he ran back across traffic to his vehicle, he was struck by a 2003 Toyota Camry driven by a 59-year-old from Champaign.
Douglas, who state police referred to as a Good Samaritan, was taken by ambulance to Carle Hospital in Champaign, where he was pronounced dead at 11:01 p.m. Westbrook died at the scene.
Northbound I-57 was shut down for about 2 1/2 hours. The accidents occurred in Iroquois County, about 32 miles south of Kankakee.
The crash remains under investigation and no citations have been issued as of Thursday morning.