Confrontation may have caused fatal Mossville car crash

Matt Buedel

A fatal crash Friday morning on Illinois Route 29 in Mossville may have been the result of a confrontation between motorists, though the accident remains under investigation by authorities.

Robert J. Parish, 39, of 2801 N. California Ave., Peoria, was killed when his Ford Mustang and a Chevy Impala, driven by Chad Wenzelspratt, collided and left the roadway, according to Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll.

Parish and Wenzelspratt of 15517 N. Vonachen Drive in Chillicothe were headed south shortly before 8 a.m. when the accident occurred in the 9700 block of North Galena Road.

Witnesses told authorities the men had been speeding and cutting each other off for miles before the accident.

Parish’s vehicle struck a tree, and he was conscious and speaking with witnesses at the scene from inside his vehicle immediately after the crash. The LifeFlight helicopter was mobilized to respond to the scene, but was called off before it arrived.

Parish was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:45 a.m. According to an autopsy performed Friday afternoon, the preliminary cause of death was multiple injuries, mostly to the chest, Ingersoll said. He also had leg and pelvis fractures.

Wenzelspratt’s vehicle rolled into a soybean field, and he was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He had been treated and released by early Friday afternoon.

Peoria County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Joe Needham said the cause of the accident remains under investigation, and findings will be forwarded to the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

Southbound traffic was blocked for 30 minutes after the accident. Traffic was narrowed to one lane in each direction in the northbound lanes of Route 29 for several hours.