Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

Authorities resumed their investigation of a central Illinois truck crash that killed five people, injured seven others, and prompted an evacuation for hundreds of residents on Friday night.

The Effingham County Coroner said the five dead included three from the same family: one adult and two children. The other two were adult motorists from out of state.

Their names were released on Sunday:

  • Danny J. Smith, 67, from New Haven, Mo.
  • Vasile Cricovan, 31, from Twinsburg, Ohio
  • Kenneth Bryan, 34, from Teutopolis, Ill.
  • Rosie Bryan, 7, from Beecher City, Ill.
  • Walker Bryan, 10, from Beecher City, Ill.

Preliminary investigation shows all five victims died from exposure to the ammonia. Seven other people were hospitalized.

Traffic, including the tanker, was pushed onto U.S. 40 earlier Friday because of another truck crash on Interstate 70.

Officials from the NTSB released details at a press conference on exactly how the crash happened. Authorities conducted preliminary investigations into both the crash site and of the ammonia-carrying tanker, which is said to belong to Prairieland Transport Limited.

The crash and ensuing leak appears to have happened as a result of the tanker’s driver attempting to avoid a nearby vehicle while traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 40 at about 9:25 p.m. Friday.

The crash caused a cloud of anhydrous ammonia on the roadway that caused dangerous air conditions in the northeast area of Teutopolis, and because of these conditions, firefighters had to mitigate the hazard before they could get to work at the scene, and it was a fairly large area. Emergency crews worked overnight after the accident on Friday trying to control the plume from the leak and struggled to get near the crash site.

Approximately 4,000 of the tanker’s 7,500 gallons of ammonia were released as a result of the collision. About 500 residents within a 1-mile radius of the crash site were evacuated after the accident.

A team of federal investigators arrived in Tuetopolis on Saturday night, where the tanker truck was drained and moved to a secure location for a NTSB investigation. Their investigation now centers around the cargo tank’s crash-worthiness and the routing of the hazardous materials.

Anhydrous ammonia is used by farmers to add nitrogen fertilizer to the soil and as a refrigerant in the cooling systems of large buildings such as warehouses and factories.