Eight people, including three children, suffered minor injuries Wednesday in an eight-vehicle pileup that began when one of the vehicles was struck in the rear and then sped eastbound on Davenport’s Locust Street in the westbound lanes, police said.
All of the injured were taken to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, for treatment. Their conditions were not available Wednesday night, but police said all of their injuries were non life-threatening.
Davenport Police Sgt. Mike Murphy said the crash occurred at 5:05 p.m. and began at Main and East Locust streets.
An eastbound Chevrolet S-10 pickup rear-ended a Buick Rainier, an SUV, that was trying to turn north on Main Street from the eastbound lanes of Locust Street, Murphy said. The S-10 also struck another vehicle in the area.
“Either because of a mechanical problem or a medical problem or both, the driver of the Rainier, a woman, took off eastbound,” Murphy said. “It crossed Brady Street and was in the westbound lanes where it struck five other vehicles.”
He said the woman told investigators that she was trying to get the vehicle to stop and had tried pulling on her emergency brake.
“She tried to get the vehicle stopped,” Murphy said. “The emergency brake is up.”
The Rainier came to rest just west of Perry Street.
The crash shut down all lanes of Locust Street from Harrison to Perry streets for about 90 minutes.
Debris and vehicles were strewn along Locust Street for two blocks.
One witness, Dale Steinecke of Davenport, said he was eastbound on Locust Street, stopped at a red light at Brady Street ready to turn north onto Brady. That is when he said the eastbound Rainier went flying by him and into the westbound lanes of Locust.
Steinecke said that once the driver of the Rainier entered the wrong lane of traffic, her vehicle traveled down the middle of the two lanes, essentially splitting the path of the two oncoming lanes of traffic.
Another witness, Teri Graves of Davenport, pointed to where the Rainier sat after the crash, near Perry Street.
“I was sitting right there where her vehicle is now when I heard the crashes,” Graves said. “I saw her hop the median and I got out of the way.
“I was on my way to KFC to get some wings and then I was heading out of town to Ottawa, Illinois, for a civil rights and equality conference,” Graves added.
“Before I left home I said my prayer, ‘God grant me traveling grace and mercy,’” she added. “He did.”
Looking over the scene and hearing that no one was seriously hurt, Graves added, “God was with these people, too.”