UPDATE: Identify the victims of a fatal traffic accident in Georgetown

Chicago
By Chicago 2 Min Read

GEORGETOWN – A 77-year-old woman and a 3-year-old girl died in a one-vehicle traffic crash Saturday in Georgetown.

Vermilion County coroner Jane McFadden on Sunday identified the victims as Janice M. Harden, 77, and Ella M. Thompson, 3, both of Westville.

According to the Illinois State Police, the incident occurred at 8:21 am Saturday. The vehicle was traveling west on Mill Street when, for an unknown reason, it veered off the road, overran a sidewalk and through grassy terrain and struck a natural gas regulator station.

The vehicle and station were engulfed in fire, state police said. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident put the area’s gas service out of action; Ameren spokeswoman Karly Combest said at the height of the outage, 1,343 customers in Georgetown were out of gas.

By mid-afternoon Monday, Ameren crews had done door-to-door service recovery for about 95 percent of those customers and left instructions for the rest on how to restore service.

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— Rodney Atkins (@RodneyAtkins) July 15, 2023

Before performing Saturday night at the Georgetown Fair, country star Rodney Atkins reached out to the community about the incident.

“Upon our arrival, it is with great sadness that we learned of a tragic accident this morning, resulting in the loss of life for both an adult and a child on their way to the fair,” Atkins wrote on social media. “My heart aches for this family and the entire community, and I fervently pray that God will give them strength during this incredibly difficult time.”

Atkins said he had discussions with fair officials about postponing the show but performed “to pay homage to the fond memories of these two individuals and offer a glimmer of comfort through the unifying power of music and fellowship.”

McFadden said the incident is under investigation by the Illinois State Police and his office. Autopsies are scheduled for this week.

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