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House fire claims two young lives in Champaign

Two people died from injuries in a weekend house fire in Champaign.  22-year-old Christian Sheehan and 26-year-old Sara Shuler were identified as the victims.

The cause is under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshall and the Champaign County Coroner's office. An autopsy will be performed today (Monday).

The Knapp Funeral Home of Cissna Park is handling arrangements for Christian Sheehan. 

Champaign firefighters responded to the fire at 1802 Cypress Drive at 4:15 Saturday morning.  Sheehan was pronounced dead at 5:12 am Saturday at Presence Covenant Medical Center.  Miss Shuler was pronounced dead just before 6 pm at Carle Hospital.

Other details about the fire are under investigation.

94.1 WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Semi fire shuts down I-65

Indiana State Police shut down I-65 in White County Sunday evening after a semi fire. Police said the semi carrying auto parts caught fire around 7 pm.

Traffic was backed up more than nine miles.

Emergency crews were able to douse the blaze and one lane was re-opened about 8:30 pm. The northbound lane was closed again around 10 pm to complete the cleanup effort.

No one was injured.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Flu restricts visitors at IMH

Effective today (Friday 3/25), Iroquois Memorial Hospital is implementing visitor restrictions to the hospital due to the increase of influenza activity. These restrictions do not apply to the Iroquois Resident Home at this time.

Visitor restrictions include:
• No visitor under18-years-old is allowed to visit any unit.
• A maximum of two individuals 18 years of age and older are able to visit at any one time.
• Visitors with symptoms of upper respiratory infection should refrain from visiting. If visits must occur for a patient's well-being, visitors with symptoms will be required to wear a mask.
• Patients who are in isolation for flu treatment will be limited to receiving only those visitors who are essential for their emotional well-being and care.

"Iroquois Memorial Hospital and the IMH Satellite Clinics have seen an increase in influenza-like-illness recently we feel it was important to restrict visitors for the well-being of our patients," said Leslie Cottrell, RN MSN, IMH Nurse Lead.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends contacting your doctor before going to an emergency department if you are experiencing flu symptoms.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Mahomet-Seymour student dies of apparent natural causes

A multi-sport athlete at Mahomet-Seymour high school has died of apparent natural causes. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday to look into the death of 18-year-old Matthew Prather.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said the young man was found dead in bed by his father at around 7 pm Thursday. Northrup said Prather has had at least one medical issue in the past, but he said he is not sure if that is related in any way to the teen's death. Northrup said there is nothing suspicious about Prather's death at this time.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Murder conviction overturned in Ford County case

A Gibson City man who had his second degree murder conviction overturned now has a re-sentencing date of April 21.

36-year-old old Ryan Nibbe was sentenced in 2014 to 17 years in prison in the death of Timothy Robertson. An appeal found the appellate court agreeing that the evidence shows that Nibbe acted in self-defense.

Nibbe will be resentenced on an aggravated battery charge, with a sentence ranging from probation to 10 years in prison.

The case involved a 2013 fight in Gibson City. Prosecutors said Nibbe punched Robertson. Robertson fell and hit his head on the pavement and died from his injuries eight days later.

94.1 WGFA