Family of couple killed in I-24 crash speaks out - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Family of couple killed in I-24 crash speaks out

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(WSIL) -- For the first time, News 3 is hearing from the family of a Nebraska couple killed in a crash near Metropolis. 

On June 21, the Donnellys left their home in Bellevue, Nebraska for a square dancing convention that they've attended for 42 years. This year, the convention took place in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Their daughter, Kelly Intinarelli, says the couple met square dancing and it was a passion of theirs that they didn't want to give up. 

"They really enjoyed going, even in their 70s, they weren't going to let anything hold them back," she says. 

Intinarelli says her parents didn't dance anymore, but enjoyed seeing their friends, "When I talked to her she said that they had a good time as they always do, and that she would see me when they got back." 

That never happened. 

On June 30, the Donnellys, along with six cars and a semi, were stopped on Interstate 24 for construction. A semi failed to stop and caused a chain-reaction crash killing the Donnellys, another driver, and injuring six others. 

Their daughter, who also lives in Bellevue, was notified later that evening by local law enforcement. 

"It’s gut wrenching," she recalls."I can’t even explain how awful that is to hear, and there’s nothing that you can do." 

Illinois State Police (ISP) is investigating the crash, but Intinarelli has many questions that she wants answered. 

"I want to know what the distraction was," she says. "I want to know exactly how fast he was going. I want to know why all the cars were stopped." 

Intinarelli also wants to make sure her parents are remembered not for dying tragically, but for being devoted parents, grandparents, and neighbors. 

"Anything that involved the family, they were always at. It didn't matter if it was a kindergarten graduation, a high school graduation, a college graduation, or a baptism," she adds. 

The couple was also involved in the Knights of Columbus and their church. 

ISP tells News 3 the crash report is not ready to be released yet, but will be available when the investigation is complete. 

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