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Crash kills off-duty police officer driving the wrong way on I-270

By Leah Thorsen

The crash happened Tuesday night on I-270 near Troy, Ill. Authorities say it is unclear why the St. Louis detective was in Illinois.

TROY, ILL. An off-duty St. Louis police detective was killed late Tuesday when he crashed his car while driving the wrong way on Interstate 270 near Troy, authorities said Wednesday.

Andre Jones, 51, was driving a 2004 Pontiac Vibe when he struck a Mazda pickup head-on at 11:30 p.m., the Madison County coroner's office said.

The driver of the pickup, James W. Klein II, 33, of Highland, was taken to Anderson Hospital in Maryville with minor injuries.

Jones was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes, roughly a quarter-mile west of Interstate 55.

Jones lived in St. Louis, and it was not clear Wednesday why he was in Madison County.

No one witnessed the crash, and it was not known why Jones was driving in the wrong direction, the coroner's office said.

Jones also was taken to Anderson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m.

It was not known whether Jones wore a seat belt, because he was pulled from his car by a passer-by.

No evidence was found at the scene to indicate that alcohol was a factor in the crash, the coroner's office said. Toxicology reports won't be available for several weeks.

The crash is under investigation by the Illinois State Police. Troopers worked Wednesday to determine how fast Jones was driving when he crashed, said Sgt. Allen Jacobs, who is supervising the crash reconstruction.

They also were trying to determine how far Jones had traveled in the wrong direction before the collision.

St. Louis police said Jones was a police officer for 28 years and is survived by a son and daughter.

He had been assigned to the department's warrant-fugitive division.
October 20, 2005
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