An Illinois Department of Transportation plow driver was killed while helping a stranded driver.
Officials say Michael Holmes, 49, of Wyoming stopped on Route 17, just west of Toulon, Friday morning to help someone whose car was stuck in a ditch. As Holmes was standing by his truck, another car lost control on the snowy road and hit him.
He was pronounced dead at Kewanee Hospital at 10:27 a.m.
State leaders issued statements expressing their condolences Friday afternoon.
"We are deeply saddened by a tragic accident this morning that claimed the life of one of our Illinois Department of Transportation employees," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "The safety of our workers always will be a top priority at IDOT and we are working with law enforcement authorities who are investigating this incident. My thoughts and prayers are with our employee's family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time."
"Michael Holmes is a hero. He gave his life while making our roads safer for his fellow citizens. Michael selflessly faced challenging conditions every winter since 2007 so the rest of us could arrive safely at our destination," said Gov. Pat Quinn.
Holmes was a monthly snowbird worker for IDOT. He had been with the Department's winter operations team since Nov. 2007. Gov. Quinn is ordering state flags to be flown at half-staff in Holmes' honor.