A Beckemeyer man died last Thursday from injuries he sustained in a car vs. freight train accident on state Route 161 near Hoffman.
Spencer Crafton, 24, was northbound in a passenger vehicle on his way to a friend’s house on a private lane near Route 161 when a westbound Norfolk Southern train struck the passenger side of Crafton’s vehicle.
According to Clinton County deputies, the accident happened at approximately 9:48 a.m. on March 16 on the private lane of 24505 state Route 161, between Hoffman and Centralia.
Sgt. Dan Travous with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department said that Crafton was going to visit a friend that morning and was traveling the private lane. The railroad crossing is located near the private lane with only a railroad crossing sign and no lights or gates.
“He’s been through the railroad crossing many times before,” Travous said. “I’m not sure why he didn’t slow or stop to check for a train (this time).”
According to Travous, the train was a two-locomotive freight train carrying 75 cars. The train came to a stop near Creek Road following the accident, and the train’s engineer was not injured, Travous said.
Hoffman Fire Department, Huey-Ferrin-Boulder Fire Department and LifeStar Ambulance were called to the scene.
Air Evac was dispatched and transported Crafton to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Travous said no alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. The incident is still under investigation.
According to his obituary, Crafton enjoyed working out and was always the life of the party.
He is survived by his mother – Sandra (John) Phillips of Carlyle; a brother – Shaun Crafton (partner Jill Pratt) of Carlyle; a niece – Skylar Crafton; his grandparents – John and Joann Crafton of Godfrey; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his father – Steven Crafton and his grandparents – Charles and Mary Greer.
Funeral services for Crafton were held Sunday at Zieren Funeral Home in Carlyle with Rev. Josh Wolford officiating.
A New Baden man was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections following a sentencing hearing last Thursday morning in Clinton County Circuit Court.
Joseph K. Dilbeck, 28, already plead guilty (per a partially negotiated plea) in January to Class 3 felony aggravated battery, for allegedly striking a 3-year-old girl in the head. Per the plea, Dilbeck’s other court cases pending in Clinton County — including domestic battery, resisting a peace officer and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors, and unlawful possession of cannabis, a Class C misdemeanor — were all dismissed.
According to the terms of the plea, the court “binds itself to mandatory supervised release (MSR) terms and a 5-year maximum; that the state stipulates that it will not seek a maximum sentence exceeding five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.”
Between Dec. 20 and 21, 2015, Dilbeck allegedly committed the offense of aggravated battery, in that the said defendant, a person who is at least 18 years of age, in committing a battery knowingly, without legal justification and by any means, caused bodily harm to a 3-year-old girl, in that said defendant struck her in the head, and at said time “Jane Doe” was a child under the age of 13 years.
The offense is a Class 3 felony.
A house fire in New Baden left a family without a home and resulted in the family being taken to the hospital last Thursday.
New Baden Fire Department Chief Matt Flanagan said that the house, located at the corner of South Fifth Street and East Illinois Street in New Baden, was a total loss.
“Three people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation,” he said, adding that they were all released later that evening.
The family, Samuel Corley, Rachel Willman and their 3-year-old son Christian Corley, were in the house at the time of the fire.
Firefighters were dispatched at about 11:48 a.m. on March 16. Firefighters from New Baden, Clin-Clair, Sugar Creek and Mascoutah all arrived at the scene. They were able to get the fire under control in about an hour.
A dog was lost in the fire and was found deceased.
Flanagan said that due to people in the residence being sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation, it was protocol to call the Fire Marshal to help with the investigation.
“There was nothing suspicious about the fire, however, the Fire Marshal has been called in,” Flanagan said.
Flanagan said that the fire was still under investigation.
The Corley-Willman family lost everything in the fire and the New Baden Jaycees are stepping up to the plate by holding a benefit this Saturday
The Jaycees are holding a barbecue benefit for the Corley-Willman family this Saturday, March 25 at Zion United Church of Christ in New Baden. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can eat-in or carry-out pork steaks, hamburger, bratwurst, hot dogs, baked potatos and baked beans
There will be a basket raffle, bake sale and donations of clothing and other items will be accepted. Clothing donations include men’s 2XL or 3XL (pants size 42), women’s XL and pants size 18, boys size 14 to 16, and 5T
For more information, or to donate, call (618) 314-6935.
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