UPDATED: Pedestrian killed in western Vermilion County identified

FITHIAN - A Champaign man was killed in western Vermilion County Thursday night as he walked on a state highway.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson identified the man as Mathew F. Wheeler, 29.

Mr. Wheeler was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:22 p.m., Johnson said. An autopsy was to be done today.

Johnson's office and Illinois State Police continue to investigate the accident, which happened at 9:17 p.m. on Illinois 49, a quarter mile north of Vermilion County Road 2000 N. That's about two miles northwest of Fithian.

Authorities said Mr. Wheeler was walking south on the road when he was hit by a woman driving a Ford Expedition north.

“It was a dark, stormy night,” Johnson said, adding that Mr. Wheeler had been visiting friends in Armstrong and was walking home.

No tickets have been issued to the 35-year-old driver, whose name has not been released by police.

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