A fatal accident in June has prompted the Illinois Department of Transportation to alter an area of the Berm Highway. Workers installed several yellow poles to block an area of Illinois Route 143 where drivers had made U-turns in the past. The poles were placed at the location of a three-vehicle accident that killed 80-year old Leonard McCormick and his 79-year old wife Shirley, both of Bethalto on June 15th. They died following a head-on collision with a pickup truck that had been rear ended and pushed into the eastbound lane. The truck, driven by 27-year old Elvanus Watts of Wood River had stopped in the westbound lane and was waiting to turn into the gravel lot on the levee side of the highway when it was hit from behind and knocked into on coming traffic.
The poles also fill the gap between the medians where fisherman had turned across eastbound lanes of traffic to gain access to that parking lot. That area had been used by fishermen so they could gain access to the Wood River Creek or Mississippi River.