5 killed in crash in Ill.; van coming from Calif.

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Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A coroner says the five people killed and six hospitalized after a van careened off of a southern Illinois freeway were men returning from a California religious event.
   
Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen tells The Associated Press he's trying to contact relatives of the five men who died at the scene of the wreck Monday morning on Interstate 70 about 70 miles east of St. Louis. Their names weren't released.
   
Bowen says the driver is among the six people hospitalized.
   
Illinois State Police say nine in the 15-person van with Maryland license plates were ejected, leaving Bowen to question how many of the occupants were wearing seat belts.
   
Authorities say it appears the van initially swerved onto the freeway's grassy median before veering back across the highway and overturning.

Earlier story:

VANDALIA, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police say five people were killed and six others injured when a van in which they were riding left a southern Illinois freeway and overturned several times.
   
State police spokesman Mark Zimmerman says the five died at the scene of the accident shortly before 10 a.m. Monday on Interstate 70 near Vandalia, about 70 miles east of St. Louis.
   
The other six occupants of the 15-passenger van were transported to hospitals. Their medical statuses were not immediately known.
   
It's not yet clear what caused the accident.

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