Five killed in van crash near Vandalia, Ill., were from Baltimore

2013-05-21T17:00:00Z 2013-06-02T20:46:14Z Five killed in van crash near Vandalia, Ill., were from BaltimoreBy Paul Hampel phampel@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8104 stltoday.com

VANDALIA, Ill. • Five men killed in a van crash along Interstate 70 near here were finally identified as residents of Baltimore, the coroner said Tuesday.

It took more than a day to determine who they were and notify relatives because none carried identifications, said Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the 11 men in the vehicle were bound for Philadelphia from a religious event in Ontario, Calif. She said she did not know why they were going to Pennsylvania.

The driver, whose name was not revealed, was among the six survivors. Bond said he was ticketed for improper lane usage and driving with a suspended license. An investigation continues and will include a toxicology test, she said.

Their vehicle, a white 2002 Dodge 15-passenger van, veered out of control about 9:45 a.m. Monday and rolled several times a few miles west of Vandalia, about 57 miles northeast of St. Louis.

Bowen identified the dead as Emerson Baldwin, 54; Andrew Canada, 53; Antonie Mitchell, 42; Mark William, 52; and Thomas Coleman, 29. The injured were hospitalized.

It marked another in a series of one-vehicle rollovers of 15-passenger vans, which have prompted safety concerns for years. Bowen said such vehicles, common to churches and colleges, represent “my worst nightmare.”

An official at the scene said nine of the 11 occupants were thrown out as the van rolled. Bowen said all five of the dead had been ejected.

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