A 19-year-old Paxton woman was killed in head-on collision early Monday. And a 25-year-old Paxton man is facing charges, which are likely to include drunken driving as a result of the crash in Ford County.
District 21 Illinois State Police are investigating. The matter’s been turned over the State’s Attorney’s office.
Thomas T. Hoekstra was the driver involved. A front-seat passenger in a second vehicle involved, Kourtni “Suzy” Eastman was killed.
The crash happened just past midnight.
Police report Hoekstra was southbound on U.S. Route 45 when his minivan crossed the center line and collided head-on with a northbound car. The crash killed Miss Eastman.
Police stated the crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. 45 and Ford County Road 200 North (Pit Road). Suzy Eastman was one of four people in the northbound car. It was driven by 20-year-old Jaupone Noraseng of Rantoul. Two other passengers in the car were identified as 20-year-old Deacon Peck (Eastman’s finance) of Paxton, and 25-year-old Raymond Mattingly of Paxton.
Police reports indicated all five people involved in the crash, with the exception of the Eastman, were being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
Motorists will have to sue alternate routes overnight tonight (Monday) if traveling on Illinois Route One at Watseka. The continuing bridge work will close the route from 8 pm 'til 6 am tomorrow (Tuesday, August 2).
Transportation officials have posted a detour route, using Routes 24, 49 and 52 around Watseka. The scheduled work is weather permitting.
Road work in Vermilion County will be slowed, beginning this week. Traffic on Route 1, north of Hoopeston, and I-74 will be affected.
The re-surfacing work begins Thursday (August 4).
The Illinois Department of Transportation reports the I-74 work will be taking place from near Fithian to west of Ogden. The Route 1 work is from north of Rossville to the Iroquois County line, north of Hoopeston.
Motorists are encouraged to slow down and follow posted signs and directions from flaggers.
The work is expected to be completed in mid-September.
Edward C. Peters, of Clifton, was elected to the position of State Commander of the Disabled American Veterans.
Peters served in the Army in Vietnam, in 1967 and '68. In 1976, he took over the pre-Memorial Day responsibilities of placing flags on the graves of every veteran buried in Kankakee County. That represents a shared effort to locate about 5,528 graves.
Also in 1976, Peters joined the DAV, which now is the Kankakee County Chapter 34, and remains active in the grave marking process, the Forget-Me-Not days, participating in parades and other DAV activities.
Peters has been the local chapter commander for several terms. In 2014, he was elected the vice commander at the state level.