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North Carolina man killed in Christmas Day crash on I-74

A 71-year-old man from North Carolina died in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 74 near Carlock on Christmas Day.

McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder identified the victim as Herbert Rich III of Wallace, North Carolina. According to Yoder, Rich was the lone occupant in a van that left the roadway shortly before 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

An Illinois State Police news release said Rich was traveling west at milepost 120 when his vehicle went into a ditch off the right side, traveled down a ravine, and struck a steep mud embankment. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Yoder said preliminary autopsy findings indicate Rich died from multiple blunt force injuries suffered in the crash. Toxicology testing is pending, and there was no evidence that exposure to the bitterly cold weather contributed to his death.

This incident remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and Illinois State Police.

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.