Victim Identified in U of I Truck Crash
By Sean Powers and Jeff Bossert
The Champaign County Coroner has identified one of two pedestrians who died after being struck by a truck on the University of Illinois campus.
Coroner Duane Duane Northrup says Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago, was a U of I student. She pronounced dead about 10:30 Wednesday morning at Carle Hospital. Urbana police say a second woman, Spandana Mantravadi, 20, doesn’t have life-threatening injuries, but remains hospitalized.
U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler said Thursday that Liu was a junior studying in the school's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
A full size Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Willie Craft Sr., 58, of Urbana struck the two women as they were walking on a sidewalk in the 1100 block of South Lincoln Avenue. Police say Craft was cited for Improper Lane Usage and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.
He was transported to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment, and police says he consented to a blood and urine test. Investigators say Craft's truck left the road several times, drove across a sidewalk, struck street signs and sideswiped another vehicle before jumping a curb and hitting the pair.
The accident shut down a stretch of Lincoln Avenue for a few hours Thursday as Urbana police investigated.
The investigation is ongoing. Urbana Police urge anyone with further information to call 217-384-2320 or Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS or text “CCTip” plus the information to CRIMES (274637).