Victim in fatal collision identified

Victim in fatal collision identified

ELLIOTT — A 55-year-old Gibson City woman was killed Monday morning when a car hit the bicycle she was riding on a highway in rural Ford County.

A news release from state police at Ashkum said the woman was riding a bicycle east on Illinois 9 at the intersection with County Road 900 East, immediately south of Elliott, when at 6:09 a.m. an eastbound car hit the bicycle.

Ford County Coroner Doug Wallace said the bicyclist was identified as Jeanne C. DeWall. Ms. DeWall was pronounced dead at 6:44 a.m. at the scene, Wallace said.

The car, a 2005 Buick LeSabre, was driven by Robert W. Watson, 73, of Paxton. Watson told police he did not see the bicyclist and was unable to avoid hitting the bike, which was in his lane of traffic, the release said.

No tickets have been issued, according to the release.

Ms. DeWall was delivering newspapers on her bike for The News-Gazette when the accident occurred, Wallace said. Wallace said one reason Watson may not have seen the bike was that there were "several newspapers in a basket on the bike that, from what it looked like, may have covered up the (bike’s) rear reflector."

"Also, it was about 6 a.m., so it was dark," Wallace added, "and there was some oncoming traffic, so their headlights may have blinded the driver" as he was approaching the bike.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday in McLean County. There probably will not be an inquest, Wallace said.

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agandy498 wrote on September 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

to jeanne's employer THE NEWS GAZETTE............ she was NOT married. so there for she is not MRS. you should know that if she delivered for you. so sad, jeanne was a really nice lady.

MyThoughtsExactly wrote on September 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Sure sounds like the police are trying to blame the cyclist. "In his lane" in reality was next to the shoulder. "It was about 6 a.m., so it was dark" means the sky was lighting up since sunrise was about 6:45am. And "headlights may have blinded the driver" probably means he move over to the shoulder of the road. And let's face it, at "73," vision, driving skills, etc., certainly aren't as good as they were at "55."

It's a tragedy, but to appear to blame it solely on the cyclist is unfair. Seldom to motorists seem to pay any attention to the fact that pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, etc., often share the road with them

sally59 wrote on September 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Jeanne was a friend of mine, last time I saw her was Sunday morning. She was her bubbly self. While I would like to find someone to blame, I know someone else who almost hit Jeanne earlier in the morning out on Route 9. He said he simply couldn't see her. I really feel for the gentleman that did hit her. This is a tragic accident, nothing more than a tragic accident. Makes me realize I want to make sure I make the most of everyday, treat everybody kindly, because you never know when things will change. I feel priviledged that I can call Jeanne my friend. She was dedicated to people, she loved pets, and she loved delivering papers for the News Gazette.

turtlecamp wrote on September 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm

she delivered the paper to rusty's elliott cafe.she was very sweet.she donated myself 100.00 last yr for the polar plunge.a heart of gold.jeanne even has a charge with us,she came in every morning after doing the papers for biscuits and gravy.she was at our house sun morn at 5a.m. to call a wrecker to get her van that broke down.so she tried to deliver the papers on her bike today.she was always worried about getting the papers out on time.The news gazette should do something very special for her.she was really dedicated to the paper.we will miss you jeanne.she also left treats for our dog every sunday on the paper for him. mike and rusty olivero elliott

UIUCHoopFan wrote on September 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Jeanne was kind to everyone she met. She had a huge heart for animals and enjoyed dog obedience training with other folks from Ford County. Sweet, caring, trusting. This is such a tragedy for all concerned. Prayers for Jeanne as well as her family and friends as well as Mr. Watson.

This was one of your own News-Gazette! Do the right thing to honor her memory. Afterall, she was killed on the job delivering your paper.

lnunamaker wrote on September 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Well, News Gazette..... I guess you are proving yourself... Where is a special article about this women delivering your papers even when she didn't have a running car? She died trying to do the job that she took very seriously! And exactly how long has she been delivering papers for you??? Something is wrong with this!!! You even charged for running her obituary!!! Well, you can be sure that I will pass this on to everyone I know!!!

Mike Howie wrote on September 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm
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Thanks for the note. You'll want to see Thursday's newspaper.