Two dead in car accidents

2013-01-14T06:00:00Z 2013-09-17T08:55:12Z Two dead in car accidentsBY STEPHEN RICKERL, THE SOUTHERN The Southern
January 14, 2013 6:00 am  • 

Two people are dead after two separate single-vehicle accidents Sunday in Williamson County.

Slick road conditions are being blamed for one of the fatalities.

Williamson County Coroner Mike “Junior” Burke said Allyson Jo Russell, 25, of West Frankfort drowned when her vehicle went into a creek sometime before 2:54 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Water Street and Binkley Road in Johnston City.

Burke said Russell was traveling northbound on Binkley Road when she failed to negotiate a curve on Water Street. Her vehicle went into a swollen creek bed and was swept about an eighth of a mile downstream before becoming submerged under 12 feet of water.

Dive teams from the Carterville Fire Department Water Rescue Team, Rend Lake Search and Rescue Team, West Frankfort Fire and Rescue, Johnston City and Benton Fire Departments, as well as Johnston City Public Works assisted in recovering the vehicle.

The accident is under investigation by the Williamson County Coroner’s Office, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and the Johnston City Police Department. Arrangements for Russell are incomplete at Union Funeral Home in West Frankfort.

In Marion, slick conditions on Interstate 57 are blamed for an accident that took the life of a second person just before noon Sunday.

Robert E. Mata, 42, of Chicago was killed when the vehicle he was a passenger in left the roadway and struck a tree, according to Illinois State Police. The vehicle was driven by Erwin H. Saulog, 38, of Lake in the Hills.

Police said Saulog and Mata were driving northbound on I-57 when Saulog saw a previous crash and attempted to slow down. His vehicle spun out of control near milepost 51, skidded sideways off the roadway to the east and struck a tree on the passenger side.

Saulog was taken to Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion and later released.

The accident remains under investigation by the Williamson County Coroner’s Office and Illinois State Police.

stephen.rickerl@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

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