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December 15, 2017

12/5/2017 2:31:00 PM
Two weekend accidents result in three deaths
Illinois State Police handled two accidents that resulted in three deaths during the weekend.

A double-fatality crash occurred at 10:28 p.m. Friday on Interstate-57 in Effingham County. According to preliminary reports, a 1996 Oldsmobile driven by Shirley M. Klitzing, 83, Brownstown, was southbound in the northbound lanes, when it crashed into a 2015 Freightliner tractor-trailer truck driven by Richard P. Messerve, 68, Mayer, Ariz.

The Klitzing vehicle was thrown around the truck, damaging the car's front end and driver's side. The truck overturned into the guardrail. Both drivers required extrication. Messerve was pronounced dead at the scene and Klitzing was flown to Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign, where she was pronounced from her injuries.

In a separate incident, a Kinmundy man was killed at 12:27 a.m. Sunday in a one-vehicle crash in Clay County.

Dead is Clint Allen Huddlestun, 21. According to an accident report, Huddlestun was traveling in a 2003 Ford F-350 pickup in Xenia.

His vehicle went off the south side of the road, striking a culvert. The vehicle then went airborne and overturned multiple times. He was ejected from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries.

State police also handled a non-fatal alcohol-related crash in Jasper County shortly after 2:20 a.m. Sunday.

Keri Wittgan 36, Willow Hill, was eastbound in a 2004 Ford truck on a county road two miles west of Hunt City. She ran off the left side of the road, returned to the pavement, overcorrected and went back off the left side.

The truck overturned several times before coming to rest upside down.

Wittgan and a passenger, Brieanna Jones, 20, Olney, were taken to Carle. A second passenger, Eugene Birch, 30, Newton, was taken to Crawford Memorial Hospital.

Wittgan is charged with driving under the influence, no valid insurance, driving on the wrong side of the road and failure to wear a seatbelt. Birch also was cited for not wearing a seatbelt.

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