According to a recent press release from Illinois State Police District 10, Zone 5 Investigations, ISP Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit and District 10 Patrol are still investigating the fatal hit and run crash Along I-57, southbound, near milepost 253.5 near Rantoul from Wednesday, March 21st. Further investigation indicate the suspect Francis C. Edelen could have been struck by a passenger vehicle or lower profile vehicle. This vehicle would have sustained front end damage including, but not limited to, hood, windshield, and roof. It is then believed he was subsequently ran over by a higher profile vehicle such as a sport unitily vehicle, minivan, or pick-up truck.
Those involved with the investigation are seeking to speak with any drivers who swerved to avoid the scene. Tire marks indicate a vehicle took evasive action approaching the incident. They are still seeking drivers or witnesses. Please contact Zone 5 Investigations at 217-278-5004 if you may have any information. Substantial information may lead to a cash reward.
Initial Press Release:
Pesotum, IL – The Illinois State Police is asking for assistance in locating the offending vehicle or vehicles that were involved in a fatal traffic crash on I-57 southbound near Rantoul, Illinois at milepost 253.5. The pedestrian struck and killed was a 21 year old University of Illinois student and wrestler, Francis C. Edelen, from Manhattan, Illinois.
On March 21, 2018, at approximately 9:37 pm, Illinois State Police District 10 was notified of a two vehicle crash with injuries on I-57 southbound at milepost 253.5 which is approximately three miles north of Rantoul. Upon arrival it was determined the driver of one of the vehicles, Mr. Edelen, left the scene of the crash on foot for an unknown reason. Approximately 2/10 of a mile south of the first crash location, Mr. Edelen was struck and killed by an unknown vehicle or vehicles in the right lane of traffic.
Preliminary information gathered at the scene by the Illinois State Police Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit revealed Mr. Edelen may have been initially struck by a large vehicle, possibly a truck-tractor semi-trailer combination. The offending vehicle or vehicles left the scene.
A witness observed three vehicles stopped on the southbound shoulder in close proximity to the body of Mr. Edelen. Those vehicles were described as a green car, a white SUV, and an unknown third vehicle. As the witness pulled over to the shoulder these three vehicles drove away.
Illinois State Police Zone 5 Investigations is seeking any information regarding the drivers and/or passengers of these three vehicles, as they left prior to speaking with the police. Any information provided would aid in the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Illinois State Police Zone 5 Investigations Tip Line at (217) 278-5004.
This is an active and ongoing investigation. Any updates will be provided when available. There is no further information at this time.