CHANNAHON, Ill. --Three women and a girl were killed when a truck crashed into their vehicles on Monday afternoon on I-55 near Arsenal Road.
They were identified as Kimberly K. Britton, 43, of Urbana; Piper Britton, 11, of Urbana; Vicky L. Palacios, 54, of Coal City; and Ulrike P. Blopleh, 48, of Channahon.
Palacios, a mother of four, was on her way to work at a piping company in Joliet.
"When death come so quick like that, you're more numb than anything," her sister Gloria Lopez said. "She always had this big heart. She always had Thanksgiving for us, Christmas, and always had a big feast for the family. She was fun. She was a very fun person."
Blopleh, a German-born Jehovah's Witness, was on her way home after a day of blueberry picking with three of her four children. Her youngest son remains hospitalized.
"I have no idea how she did it, being a mother of four. She was a housewife, but she was an active volunteer in the ministry. She conducted bible studies with people in their homes and she also volunteered to build our Kingdom Halls so she learned to be a carpenter, a roofer and logistics," family friend Steve Flynn said.
Kim Britton and her daughter, Piper, were on vacation when they were killed. She was a longtime employee at the University of Illinois in Champaign at the University administration office.
"Kim was one of my stand-out employees. She was both skilled in what she did and was an excellent people person," Gloria Keeley said. Keeley said she knew the Brittons were on vacation in Chicago.
Four other people were injured in the crash. Two remain hospitalized Tuesday. One remains hospitalized in critical condition.