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EFFINGHAM — A 41-year-old semitruck driver from South Carolina was cited in a fatal crash on Interstate 57 that killed a 74-year-old woman, state police said Saturday. 

In a statement, police said the crash happened at 1:34 a.m. Saturday near milepost 167 north of Effingham. Initial investigation of the crash showed that a Dodge Caravan with seven occupants was traveling southbound on the interstate.

The van was moving at a slower speed in the right lane because it was using a spare tire, police said. 

The semitruck came up from behind the van, police said, and struck the van in the rear. The van went into the interstate's median, while the truck came to rest on the right shoulder. 

Three of the van's occupants, including a 12-year-old, were taken by ambulance to St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham. An 18-year-old man was taken by ambulance to Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign. A 9-year-old and the 74-year-old woman, Mary J. Gates of Calumet City, were airlifted to Carle, the news release said. Gates was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Police cited the semi driver, who was not injured, for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The crash remains under investigation. 

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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