A Champaign resident was killed today on I-74 when a rock was thrown from an overpass and crashed through the victim’s windshield. The ten pound rock split open the victim’s head. She was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. Police received a complaint briefly before this incident of teenage boys throwing debris from the Prospect Avenue overpass onto I-74. This was not the first time something like this had happened in this area. Last year, a prominent Urbana resident was killed when a can of gasoline was dropped from an overpass on I-57, where he had been driving.
Emily Sawyer, the victim of today’s accident, is a 43-year-old mother of three and a breast cancer survivor. She had been on her way to drop her mother off at Holy Family Catholic Church in Danville, something she has done every Saturday morning for the last several years. Sawyer’s mother survived the accident but sustained injuries such as a broken arm and bruises. Sawyer’s sisters, Felicity Shrove and Donna Taylor gave this statement while at the hospital: “This was a senseless tragedy. Who would do this to a perfect stranger, just for kicks? We hope that steps can be taken to prevent this from happening to anyone else.”
Sawyer’s family wants fences to be built on overpasses throughout the area. Champaign County Crime Stoppers is accepting tips on this accident at (217) 373-TIPS.