Route 3 Crash Kills Two SIU Students, Injures Three Other Students

Route 3 Crash Kills Two SIU Students, Injures Three Other Students

CARBONDALE – A two-vehicle crash early Thursday morning on Illinois Route 3 between Ware and East Cape Girardeau involved five SIU Carbondale graduate students, killing two of them and injuring three others.

According to a release from Illinois State Police (ISP), a Fiat sedan was traveling south on Rt. 3, just north of Old Cape Road when for unknown reasons, the car crossed the center line and struck the front of a Toyota sedan.

The driver of the Fiat, Marie Meunier, 32 of Cape Girardeau, one of her passengers, Vamshi Pechetty, 23 of Carbondale and the other driver, Pavan Swarna, 23 of Carbondale, were all pronounced dead at the scene. 

The other three passengers in the Toyota, 23-year-old Yaswanth Uppalapati, 23-year-old Kakumanu Karthik and 24-year-old Kalyan Dorna, all of Carbondale, were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane released the following statement Thursday afternoon regarding the fatal crash:

“We are heartbroken to learn of a tragic car accident that has taken the lives of two members of the Saluki family and injured three others,” Lane said. “We send our condolences to the families of Vamshi Krishna Pechetty, a graduate student in computer science, and Pavan Swarna, a graduate student in computer science, and we hope Kalyan Dorna, a graduate student in civil engineering, Karthik Kakumanu, a graduate student in computer science, and Yaswanth Uppalapati, a graduate student in computer science, will heal. We are working to support the families during this incredibly difficult time. Our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) team is available to help others who are impacted by this tragedy. Our thoughts and hearts are with these students and their loved ones.”

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