Columbia police, fire and EMS responded to the report of a traffic crash involving a car that had driven into a guardrail on the Route 3 northbound ramp to I-255 westbound sometime after 8:30 p.m. Monday. A 21-year-old Waterloo man was the driver involved, and currently remains in critical condition at a St. Louis hospital.
Illinois State Police said early Tuesday morning that a 2000 Toyota Corolla driven by Thomas Falk, 21, of Waterloo, was on the Route 3 northbound ramp to Interstate 255 westbound when the car “went out of control for unknown reasons” and veered off the road to the left, striking the guardrail.
Witnesses stated that Falk was injured, but exited his vehicle and ran from the crash scene after discovering that police had been contacted, ISP said. Witnesses stated that Falk ran north an estimated 200 feet on the ramp from the crash scene and then “jumped over the concrete median wall” on the north side of the ramp, falling approximately 40 to 50 feet down onto railroad tracks.
Emergency personnel rushed to Falk’s aid on the tracks, and an ambulance transported him to a waiting ARCH Air Medical Services helicopter at the nearby soccer fields off Route 3.