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Deputies report serious accidents on Route 51, one fatality

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trustee would like to see faster, but accurate, public communication

At the May 15 board meeting, Deputies Jennifer Harris and Markes Rodgers of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office discussed with trustees a fatal traffic accident that occurred in the early hours of May 15 when a pedestrian was struck and killed at U.S. Route 51 and Hampshire Road in Maroa. Rodgers said that the incident involved a couple and that alcohol was a factor. He said a male, who had exited the couple’s vehicle, was struck twice.

Trustee David Wendt said that he had received calls from residents concerned because the incident happened not far from Maroa-Forsyth High School on a school day. The accident caused a partial closure of the highway, and worried parents had no way of knowing that it had actually happened overnight. Wendt expressed his concern for having better communications during such incidents. Social media communications among residents, Wendt told deputies, had fueled some fears. Rodgers said that nothing gets posted to any of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office social media platforms until it is confirmed for accuracy, but he added that in this case the Illinois State Police was in charge of the investigation.

In an unrelated event, Harris also reported to trustees that there was an arrest in Maroa on Sunday, May 14 of an impaired driver who was responsible for two hit-and-run accidents. The first accident occurred in Decatur at Ash Avenue and MacArthur Road, and the second occurred in the Village at U.S. Route 51 and Barnett Avenue. A 25-year-old man from Downs is currently being held in the Macon County Jail; no one was injured in either of the hit-and-run accidents.

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