URBANA — Vermilion and Champaign county authorities are investigating an accident that killed a 17-year-old Danville boy earlier this week.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Dakota Wayne Houldridge was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The accident occurred at 7:42 p.m. on Monday on Perrysville Road, southeast of Danville. Apparently, Mr. Houldridge was riding in the back of a pickup truck and fell off of the bed, said Capt. Dennis Wood of the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department.
According to a preliminary police report, a sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area when he drove up on the truck, which had stopped, Wood said. The deputy saw two people who appeared to be moving or assisting another person.
Personnel from the Lynch Area Fire Protection District and Medix Ambulance transported the teen to Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. He was later transferred to Carle.
Darrell Houldridge, the teen’s father and the truck’s driver, and Douglas Carpenter told the deputy that the three had been using the truck to move furniture. They said Carpenter and the teen were holding on to furniture, including mattresses, in the back of the truck.
“Apparently, (Mr. Houldridge) was standing on or near the tailgate when a gust of wind moved the mattresses and ejected him from the truck,” Wood said, adding Carpenter witnessed the fall.
Darrell Houldridge told officials the truck was moving about 30 to 35 miles per hour.