Bond County, IL (KSDK) - A mother and her two young daughters died Friday morning after their vehicle was struck by a tractor on Interstate 70 in Bond County.
According to the Illinois State Police, the accident occurred just before 8:50 p.m. on I-70 at milepost 48.
Witnesses told investigators that several deer were roaming alongside the interstate and were crossing the roadway, forcing cars to slow down abruptly or even stop in order to avoid hitting the animals.
One driver, 41-year-old Suzette Lee, slowed to avoid one deer, but a second deer ran onto the interstate, forcing her to come to a stop on the highway. A tractor trailer slammed into the back of her vehicle.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, identified as 40-year-old Dennis Nagle of Union, Missouri, man was unable to stop in time.
Suzette Lee and her two daughters, 8-year-old Lillian and 6-year-old Vivianm, were all pronounced dead at the crash scene. The truck driver was also injured and taken to a hospital in Greenville.
Suzette's parents, Marvin and Yvonna, set up the "Suzette Lee Memorial Trust Fund " at the First National Bank in Vandalia, Mulberry Grove, and Greenville, Illinois. The money will go to SAFE, an organization helping victims of sexual abuse.
Suzette, Lillian, and Vivian's visitation is on Sunday at Donnell Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville, IL from 4 to 8. Their funeral is on Monday at 1 p.m. at Bible Way House of Prayer in Mulberry Grove.