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 Tragedy struck Christmas Day when a vehicle slid off an overpass and landed on top of a semi-trailer on Interstate 57 in northern Champaign County, killing both drivers.

The crash occurred around 2:50 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25, near milepost 252 north of Rantoul, according to a news release from Troop 7 Illinois State Police. It happened when a vehicle traveling west on County Road 3200 North slid off the overpass above I-57 for unknown reasons and landed on top of a northbound semi-trailer, the release said, with debris from both vehicles then striking a third vehicle that was southbound.

The drivers of the semi-trailer and the vehicle that slid off the overpass sustained life-threatening injuries and died, the release said, while the driver of the third vehicle was uninjured.

On Tuesday, Dec. 26, Champaign County Coroner Stephen Thuney identified the driver of the westbound vehicle as Tyler S. Flynn, 34, of Dewey, and the driver of the northbound semi-trailer as Muharem Ugarak, 48, of St. Louis, Mo. An autopsy will be performed on Mr. Flynn at the Champaign County Regional Autopsy Facility later this week, and no autopsy will be performed on Mr. Ugarak, Thuney said.

Starting around 3 p.m., all northbound lanes of I-57 near milepost 250 at Rantoul and all southbound lanes of I-57 near milepost 261 at Paxton were closed as the crash was investigated by police. All lanes were reopened around 12:21 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26.

The accident was being investigated by Illinois State Police and the Champaign County Coroner’s Office.

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