Family of fatal Swansea crash victim calls for justice

Karlie Langley was only 27 years old when she was killed. His family said the driver responsible was still on the street.

SWANSEA, Ill. — The family of a Swansea crash victim demanded justice Monday after saying the driver at fault has not been charged and is still on the street.

Karlie Langley, of Belleville, was killed in a crash near Swansea on Highway 159 early last month.

The 27-year-old’s loved ones are upset and frustrated because more than a month has passed since the accident that took her life and they still have no answers.

Katie Langley said her sister Karlie was picked up by an acquaintance who was going to take her to work around 3pm on Thursday, May 2, but unfortunately she never made it.

“I’ve never missed a day without at least calling and letting them know. That’s not like her,” Langley said.

A few hours later, they received the worst news: Karlie had been killed in a car accident in Swansea.

The father of her child, Mark Benedick, rushed to the scene of the accident.

“That’s when I ran. And I think the chief, I don’t remember his name, the chief was there and he came over and asked me who I was asking for and then sat me down and told me,” Benedick said.

The family said police told them the driver was under the influence and driving at a high speed and recklessly when the crash occurred.

They think Karlie died instantly. The driver was also injured, as were two other people in other vehicles.

“I guess he swerved to avoid someone hitting a car, overturning the car, and then they hit a car head-on with the roof. So it was the worst thing that could happen in a car,” Benedick said.

Langley said officials tell them it’s now up to the court system to decide. But the last update she received was two weeks ago.

“There have been no updates and it’s been 40 days at this point. We have no answers. And he’s still free,” Langley said.

One of Karlie’s good friends, Taylor Pruett, said she misses her every day.

“We did everything together. We lived life. I feel like I can’t even believe how long I’ve known her and how many different stages of life we’ve had to go through together and everything. And it’s a shame that we didn’t get to experience more, really,” Pruett said.

Pruett said she didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

“We really want justice,” she said.

Karlie leaves behind a 3-year-old son named Ryett. Benedick said it was heartbreaking to see him still searching for his mother.

“I already sat down and told him mom wasn’t coming back. But I’ll have to have this conversation a few more times,” Benedick said.

5 On Your Side contacted the Swansea Police Department on Monday and was told the police chief and detective assigned to the case were unavailable.