Crash leaves one dead, nine injured

A Tennessee man was cited for DUI and other charges after a crash that killed one person and left nine others injured in Perry County Sunday.

The crash occurred when Thomas Harris, 43, Clarksville, Tenn., attempted to pass a passenger van in the northbound lane of U.S. 51 near Tamaroa at about 5:30 p.m.

Harris failed to complete the pass and his truck struck the van as he attempted to reenter the northbound lane, police said. After striking the van, Harris’ truck spun out of control and entered the southbound lane, where six motorcycles were traveling.

Harris’ truck struck a motorcycle driven by Roy Hackworth, 61, Pinckneyville. Hackworth and his passenger, Laurie Jenkel, 42, Tamaroa, were both treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said.

The motorcycles riding behind Hackworth took evasive action in an attempt to avoid the crash and three motorcycles went to the pavement.

The first was driven by Derick Clay Jenkel, 35, Tamaroa, who was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for treatment of major injuries.

Jenkel’s passenger, M. Arlene Hackworth, 56, Pinckneyville, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash, state police said.

The second motorcycle was driven by Scott Meadows, 38, Pinckneyville, who suffered major injuries and was airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital for treatment.

The third motorcycle to go to the pavement was driven by Frank Rimnac, 31, of Pinckneyville. Rimnac and his passenger, Samantha Orr, 24, Fairbury, were taken to Marshall Browning Hospital in Du Quoin for treatment of injuries.

Harris’ pick-up truck left the roadway to the west and went into a grass field where it overturned, injuring several passengers: Chanda Schriefer, 31, Centralia, and a 12-year-old boy were taken to Marshall Browning Hospital for treatment, while a 13-year-old girl was airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.

Harris and another of his passengers, Jason Coffel, 38, Du Quoin, refused treatment at the scene.

Harris was cited for DUI, endangering the life/health of a child, driving while license suspended, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and other traffic offenses, police said. Additional charges are pending.

He was taken to Perry County Jail.

None of the motorcyclists were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, state police said.


On Twitter: @beckymalkovich

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