University student dies after accident on Lincoln Avenue

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has identified the victim of Wednesday’s accident as University student Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago. Liu was a junior in ACES, according to campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

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Liu died from blunt force injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle, according to a press release from the Champaign County Coroner. She died at Carle Foundation Hospital in the Emergency department at 10:39 a.m., and no autopsy will be performed.

Liu was transported to Carle and was declared dead after failed attempts to revive her, according to a press release from the Urbana Police Department.

A second victim, University student Spandana Mantravadi, was also hit by the truck and transported to Carle. She is not believed to have life-threatening injuries, according to the press release.

The two victims were struck by the truck on Lincoln Avenue near Nevada Street, according to Urbana Police detective Matt Rivers.

The truck was driven by Willie Craft, Sr., 58, of Urbana. Craft was traveling south on Lincoln Avenue around 10 a.m. and drove across a sidewalk several times, while also hitting street signs and an occupied vehicle in traffic.

He was also transported to Carle for treatment and consented to blood and urine samples.

Craft was cited for improper lane usage and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

The two victims were walking near the McKinley Health Center, said witness Jeremy Thurman, a construction worker working outside McKinley. He said one victim was swept under the truck and the other was thrown over it.

Hanna Hawkins, sophomore in Applied Health Sciences, said she was nearly hit by the truck before it hit the two females.

“I heard a loud noise, and I turned around and the truck was flying down the sidewalk,” said Hawkins. “He just kept going, then I heard two screams and then I just kept running down the sidewalk.”

Miranda Coello, junior in Media, was in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house near the accident when it occurred. Coello said she went outside to the scene and saw one of the victims receiving CPR from paramedics on the sidewalk before being taken away by an ambulance.

All car traffic between Nevada Street and Pennsylvania Avenue on Lincoln Avenue was blocked off by police following the accident. Traffic reopened around 2:30 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing.

Hannah Prokop, Maggie Huynh, Dani Brown and Miranda Holloway contributed to this report.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Champaign County coroner's name was Duane Northrop. The Champaign County coroner's name is Duane Northrup. The Daily Illini regrets the error.