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Driver of van in fatal crash may have fallen asleep at the wheel

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The driver of a van that overturned along an Illinois freeway, killing five passengers, has told investigators he recalls little of the moments leading to the wreck.

The Associated Press obtained an Illinois State Police report on the crash through a Freedom of Information Act request. According to the report, Malcolm Purnell said he's unsure if he fell asleep just before the May 20 crash on Interstate 70 during a coast-to-coast drive.

He said he doesn't remember much beyond that the vehicle's occupants were laughing moments earlier.

Purnell was among six occupants injured in the crash near Vandalia. They were returning east from a California ministry gathering.

Purnell was cited for improper lane usage and driving with a suspended license.

Messages left with his Philadelphia attorney weren't returned.

 

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