OLATHE, Kan. — One family from Johnson County, Kansas, is in agony and worried for the health of a loved one.
Their son, 19-year-old John Costello, was one of 10 people affected by a tanker truck crash in rural Illinois on Friday night.
People at the high school confirmed he was one of five people injured in the Friday crash. Five others were killed.
That tanker truck crash happened Friday evening in Teutopolis, Illinois. That small town sits just outside Effingham on Interstate 70. The truck was carrying anhydrous ammonia, which is a nitrogen-based fertilizer. It can burn a person’s lungs if they breathe it in.
The Tigers club swim team was traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for a swimming event at Ohio State University. He’s now at a hospital in the Kansas City metro.
The swim club posted to social media that Costello was one of four members injured in the crash. He and three others — Weston Hemmerling, Sarah Tague and Anja Dangelmaier — are in the ICU, according to the team.
The team said the four freshmen were not directly involved in the crash, but they were caught up in the aftermath. They got out of the car and ran, trying to protect themselves from the gas spilling out into the air.
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The swim club said they ended up falling into ditches on the side of the road, where they waited for EMS.
Crews found Hemmerling first, but they had to wait for hazmat teams before finding the others, as the chemical cloud was too dangerous, according to the swim team. Costello, Tague, and Dangelmaier were all airlifted to the hospital.
The swim club has started a Go Fund Me page to support the Mizzou students and their families.
A spokesperson for Mizzou Athletics said the Tiger swim club is not managed by the university’s athletic department, but the school’s athletes are aware and keeping the students in their prayers.
Locally, the Costello family is asking for privacy during this trying time.