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Mother, daughter die in Wednesday crash

Car collided with truck at County Highway 15, Morris Road

MARSEILLES — A mother and her daughter died Wednesday afternoon, April 20, when their vehicle collided with a semi-trailer truck on the Town Line Road south of Interstate 80.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Lorraine McNeil, 69, and her daughter, Kathleen Wilcox, 45, both of Ottawa.

Authorities did not release the name of the truck driver, who was transported to Ottawa Regional Hospital.

Autopsies on the two victims were scheduled for today.

The collision occurred at the intersection of County Highway 15 — also known as Nate Fleming Road or Town Line Road — and the Morris Road, one mile south of the Marseilles exit on I-80.

County Highway 15 was closed for more than six hours due to the accident, which occurred at 12:47 p.m. Wednesday, Marseilles Police Chief Jim Hovious said.

Hovious said the victims were eastbound on Morris Road, and the semi-truck was headed south on CH 15. After the collision, the semi-truck went into the east ditch on CH 15, and partially onto the lawn of the home in the southeast quadrant of the intersection.

There are stop signs and rumble strips on Morris Road at the intersection. CH 15 is a through highway with no stop signs. Investigators were trying to determine whether the traffic control devices played a part in the incident. Illinois State Police were reconstructing the collision.

Hovious said no tickets were issued. He did not know where the mother and daughter were going at the time of the crash.

“We’re collecting witness statements,” Hovious said today, noting that others had seen the accident. “It’s a dangerous intersection. Why it’s so dangerous, I don’t know.”

The intersection has been the scene of several other fatalities in the past, including those of two Morris men who died about four years ago in the same southeast quadrant involved in Wednesday’s collision.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Department and the County Coroner’s office, along with the Marseilles Fire Department and Ambulance Squad, Illinois Department of Transportation, and the La Salle County Highway Department, assisted Marseilles police at Wednesday’s accident.

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