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Prosecutor: No charges planned in deadly van wreck

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A southern Illinois prosecutor says a freeway wreck that killed five van passengers returning from a California ministry conference was a tragic accident and the driver won’t be charged.

Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison says Malcolm Purnell of Camden, N.J. had no alcohol or illegal drugs in his system during the May wreck on Interstate 70. He was driving with a suspended license.

Morrison says toxicology tests showed the 45-year-old had medications in his bloodstream, but those were given to him while he was hospitalized after the accident about 70 miles east of St. Louis.

The five people killed in the crash, all from Baltimore, were among 11 passengers in the van.

Purnell has declined repeated requests by The Associated Press for an interview.



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