EAST ST. LOUIS – An East St. Louis man faces two counts of Failure To Report An Accident Involving Death (Class 1 Felony) and Unlawful Use of a Weapon - a machine gun - (Class x Felony), Illinois State Police announced on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024.

Zachary CarpenterThe Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Public Safety Enforcement Group has arrested 23-year-old Zachary Carpenter of East St. Louis on the charges above.

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On February 9, 2024, ISP agents were requested by the East St. Louis Police Department to investigate a two-unit fatal traffic crash that occurred in the 3500 block of Bond Ave., East St. Louis. A vehicle, driven by Carpenter, struck another vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed. The victims, 60-year-old Marilyn Hill and 73-year-old Willie Bufford, both of Cahokia Heights, succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced deceased.

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Carpenter was observed traveling at a high rate of speed and traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic by a Cahokia Heights Police officer prior to the crash. Carpenter fled from the crash and suffered an unintentional, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Carpenter was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

After a thorough investigation, with assistance from the East St. Louis Police Department, the case was presented to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney James Gomric, and the above-mentioned charges were filed against Carpenter on February 14, 2024.

On February 28, 2024, Carpenter was taken into custody by the US Marshals and transported to the St. Clair County Jail. No further information is available.

The public is reminded that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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