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Illinois mother critical after children killed in head-on crash

Children can become the victims of traffic accidents no matter how Illinois parents try to protect them. Parents' worst fears are realized when an auto accident injures or claims the life of their child. A heartbreaking discovery is learning that the driver who might have prevented a child's injury or death is the victim's parent.

A brother and sister, ages 2 and 3, died when their mother's SUV collided head-on with another vehicle. Illinois State Police in Du Quoin reported four car accident victims survived including the children's mother, the second driver and two other children.

Crash reconstruction specialists say the 23-year-old mother lost control of the SUV she was driving on Route 152 near Du Quoin. Investigators stated the driver swung into oncoming traffic and hit an Audi occupied by a 20-year-old woman driver and two children.

The drivers of both vehicles were airlifted in separate helicopters to the same medical facility. The SUV driver was listed in critical but stable condition. The Audi operator sustained serious injuries. Children in the second car were treated at a Pinckneyville hospital and released.

Reports said neighbors within a half mile of the crash heard the impact. Troopers and Perry County deputies are searching for witnesses who also may have seen what happened.

Physical evidence gathered from the crash scene and vehicle inspections will tell troopers how the accident occurred. The critically-injured mother whose children died in the crash may be the only person who can tell investigators why the SUV crossed from safety into immediate danger.

Media reports focused heavily on the young woman who endured possibly life-threatening injuries and the unimaginable loss of her children. Investigators must search for the accident's cause for the sake of all six victims. The probe will satisfy the laws for criminal and civil courts, even if what police ultimately find implicates a woman who has already lost so much.

Source:, "Two young children killed in accident near Du Quoin," John H. Croessman, March 18, 2013

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