An investigation is still underway following a three-vehicle crash on New Route 50 in Trenton that occurred Saturday afternoon leaving two people dead.
The accident occurred Jan. 14 at 3:16 p.m. on New Route 50, east of the four-way split in Trenton.
According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Marissa Flanigan, 19, of Vernon, driving a 2003 Dodge passenger car, was eastbound on New Route 50 and entered the westbound lane. She then overcorrected, causing the vehicle to fishtail out of control and strike head-on into a westbound 2012 Mazda passenger car, driven by Randy Pulver, 62, of Beckemeyer.
A third vehicle, driven by Christopher Becker, 43, of Breese was also westbound, following Pulver’s vehicle. Becker told deputies that he observed the crash and diverted his vehicle into the north ditch in an attempt to avoid being struck.
After being struck, Pulver’s vehicle spun around and entered the north ditch embankment and came into the path of Becker’s vehicle. Becker struck Pulver’s vehicle in the front end and both Becker and Pulver’s vehicle came to rest, facing one another.
Initial reports indicated that a fourth vehicle was involved in the crash, however, there was no fourth vehicle that was related to the crash. According to the sheriff’s department, the fourth driver was traveling behind Becker’s vehicle and was also a witness to the crash. The fourth driver reportedly diverted her vehicle into the north ditch to avoid the crash and was untouched by the other vehicles.
Flanigan, her passenger Melayna Pelka, 21, of Centralia, and Pulver were all transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese.
Flanigan was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Pulver was then taken to St. Louis University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Pelka received non-life threatening injuries and Becker was not injured in the accident.
The Sugar Creek Fire Department, Aviston Fire Department, Sugar Creek Ambulance and Breese Ambulance all responded to the scene, in addition to police officers from Trenton and New Baden and Clinton County sheriff’s deputies.
ARCH helicopter was requested at the scene, but declined due to the inclement weather. It was also reported that there was a thin layer of ice that had formed on the roadway at the time of the crash.
Flanigan was employed with Bryan Manor in Centralia. She was known as “a free spirit” and will be remembered as a wonderful, caring mother to her son Easton. She enjoyed spending time with her many friends, family, and loved being around children.
Survivors include her son, Easton Flanigan; mother Joni Flanigan and fiancé Jason Huels of Carlyle; fathers Kevin Flanigan and Billy (Julie) Lane; brother Marcus Flanigan, half-brothers and sisters Billy, Jenna, Kaydee, Jersey, and A.J.; grandparents Brad and Kathy Richeson of Vernon, Carol Flanigan of Centralia, and Venita Hopper of Granite City; great-grandparents Darlene Best of Centralia, Bonnie Richeson of Odin, and Cleo Feig of Centralia; aunts and uncles Shawn and Tifanie Richeson, Lisa and Jimmie Lamar; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Services were held this Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 18 and 19 at Day Macz Funeral Home in Patoka.
Pulver recently retired after many years of dedicated service as the maintenance superintendent with the village of Beckemeyer. He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, past president of the Beckemeyer Community Development Club, and founding member of the Washer Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, music, playing horseshoes and just being outdoors in general. Pulver was always willing to volunteer and help anyone with projects or remodel jobs and enjoyed being a grandfather.
Survivors include his children, Cara (Tim) Niemeyer and Ryan (Jill) Pulver, all of Springfield; four grandchildren: Wesley and Eleanor Niemeyer, Cecelia and Rosalie Pulver and the fifth grandchild expected to arrive in August; his mother, Vera Pulver; a sister, Vicki Melton; and two brothers Dale Pulver and special friend Barb Kretzer and Keith Pulver, all of Beckemeyer; his special friend Gina M. Jones of O’Fallon; a niece Jennifer Tubb and husband J.T. of Beckemeyer; a nephew, Cory Melton and wife Rae of Beckemeyer; great nieces and nephews: Hanner and Berlynn Tubb and Isabelle and Avery Melton; and his former spouse, Sharon LaGrand of Springfield.
Services for Pulver will be held this Thursday, Jan. 19 from 3 until 7 p.m. and from 9 until 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20 at Nordike Funeral Home in Carlyle. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Beckemeyer.
Full obituary information for Pulver can be found on page 5A.
Charlie Meier (R-Okaw-ville) was sworn into office as state Representative of the 108th District at a ceremony held Jan. 11 at the University of Illinois – Springfield. The year 2017 is important for the legislature as it begins the 100th Illinois General Assembly.
“I’m grateful to return to the House of Representatives for another term,” said Rep. Meier. “I strive to do the very best I can for the individuals and families I represent. Today we are faced with many challenges ahead and passing a balanced budget will be at the forefront.”
Over the last 18 months, the Democrat controlled legislature has failed to pass a balanced budget by only passing unbalanced budget proposals which spend anywhere from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion more than what the State has in the bank.
In 2016, Gov. Rauner presented the legislature with two options in order to pass a state budget – work with the Democratic majority on reaching a balanced budget or give the governor the authority to fashion a balanced budget.
Rep. Meier added, “In addition to passing a balanced budget, I will continue to support legislation that creates more jobs, delivers property tax relief, fully fund our schools, and be a strong advocate for the safety and well-being of our developmentally disabled.”
Rep. Meier is a lifelong resident of Washington County who lives on his family’s Centennial Farm outside of Okawville. A farmer and real-estate developer, Meier has previously served as an elected member of the Washington County Board. Additionally, Meier has served as a board member for Southwestern Illinois RC&D (a conservation-focused organization), the vice chair of B.C.M.W. (a multi-county social services organization), a longtime member of the Addieville Area Jaycees, and multiple other local organizations.
Glitz, glitter, glamour and an abundance of amazing talent bedazzled all at the Aviston Sons of American Legion 12th annual Black Tie and Talent Show at Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston on Saturday night.
Eight young individuals competed for nearly $10,000 in scholarships at the contest, which was sponsored by the Aviston Sons of American Legion (SAL). Since its inception in 2005, this event has given away $120,000 in scholarships to Clinton County youth.
Thanks to many prayers, the ice storm came early and did not impair the event and approximately 300 people attended the competition which began with a happy hour at 5 p.m. followed by a four-course meal.
SAL Chaplain Tom Schrage said a prayer before the meal and recognized the veterans and soldiers serving this country. The main event started at 7:15 p.m. with Butch Gray of Aviston leading the “Pledge of Allegiance” then singing “God Bless America.”
Chairman Jim Kues then thanked everyone for attending and recognized co-chairman Craig Timmermann. Kues spoke about the community service efforts of the youth of the county and the values of shopping locally, stressing that this program’s main funding is from small businesses in Clinton County.
The four contest judges, who have extensive backgrounds in music, theater and pageants, were introduced by Jerry Kues: Gary Dollinger of Greenville, Jason Fishburne of Greenville, Kathy Barkau of Okawville and Crystal Groves of Greenville.
The master of ceremonies was Dr. Brian Walsh who did a wonderful job entertaining the crowd with his wit and interaction with the contestants.
The contest began with each contestant walking down the ballroom stairs with Hollywood style spotlights highlighting their formal attire. The contestants passed and shook hands with the judges, then introduced themselves on stage.
Each contestant gave a brief speech on a topic or event in their lives, then answered a question from the fishbowl. Many interesting questions were fished and the crowd was entertained by some of the responses, including lighthearted jabs at emcee Brian Walsh.
Winners of the 2017 competition were as follows:
• First place – Jake Mueller of New Memphis, a freshman at the University of Southern Indiana, spoke about “Playing the Game.” Jake spoke about when he was in high school, he thought that winning was all that mattered on the golf course, until a summer day when he was in a golf tournament and he met a young kid who was a member of the Special Olympics.
“I asked his parents why they were here and their answer shook me,” he said. “They said, ‘this is an outlet for him, where he makes friends and is in his safe space.’”
Jake said his life has been “altered” from that day, and stated that the game was “not always about winning or losing, but about how you play the game.”
Jake then sang the song “Make Them Hear You” from the Broadway musical “Ragtime.” He was accompanied on piano by Amy Page. Jake received the $2,000 Jerry Stockmann Memorial & TechKnow Solutions Scholarship.
• Second place – Wil Rakers of Aviston who spoke on “Following Your Dreams.” He then sang “Cry Me a River” by Michael Bublé. Wil received the $1,500 Dr. Jon & Karen Osborn/Mike & Linda Schuette/Tim & Kathy Droege Family Scholarship.
• Third place — Morgan Siever of Carlyle who spoke on “Good News of 2016.” She then played the piano tune “Graceful Ghost” by William Bolcom. Morgan received the $1,200 First National Bank of Carlyle Scholarship.
The following scholarships were also awarded:
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