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Coroner identifies woman hit by a bus and killed on I-72 near Decatur

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Macon County Coroner Michael Day identified the female pedestrian who was hit by a skidding bus on Interstate 72 and killed Saturday night as Vicki S. Gardner, 63, of Springfield.

Gardner and a relative were eastbound on the interstate and slid off the road, presumably because of inclement weather, Day said. Their vehicle came to rest in the median near the Argenta exit at mile marker 150.

Both Gardner and the passenger got out of the car. Gardner approached the roadway and was struck by the bus which had lost control on the ice-slicked road and smashed through a guardrail before hitting Gardner and then skidding across the westbound lanes and plowing into a ditch, said State Trooper Tracey Lillard in a statement Sunday. Gardner had been pronounced dead at the scene, with the cause of death described as massive generalized trauma, according to Day.

Lillard said no one on the bus was injured and the driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions and improper lane usage. The crash caused the total closure of Interstate 72 for several hours Saturday night.

State police and Macon County Sheriff's Office had both reported multiple vehicles sliding off the roadway Saturday afternoon and evening. Freezing rain and sleet had made pavements slick and reduced visibility in some parts of central Illinois. 

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