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Coroner identifies 3 killed in 2 recent Decatur crashes

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DECATUR — Macon County Coroner Michael Day has identified three people killed in two fatal crashes on Friday and Saturday. 

Christina M. Neeley, 89, was pronounced dead at 2:02 p.m. Friday in the Decatur Memorial Hospital emergency room. Neeley, of Sullivan, was a passenger in a van involved in a crash at Monroe and Division Streets before 1 p.m. that day. 

Neeley's cause of death was "multiple blunt injuries to the chest and abdomen," Day said. 

Luxton Kyle Russell, 30, and Christina Lynn Little, 55, were killed in a crash on U.S. 36 on Saturday morning. 

Russell, of Decatur, was the driver and only occupant of a car that collided with a pickup truck in which Little, of Trilla, was a passenger. Both suffered massive head injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene. 

The driver of the truck suffered serious injuries and was taken to an out-of-county trauma center, Day said. Police previously identified the driver as a 61-year-old male. 

The Decatur Police Fatal Accident Investigation Team was investigating both incidents, Day said. 

Previously, police said the initial investigation of the Friday crash found the following: A 2011 red Chevy Malibu was stopped or slowing down in the left northbound lane of Monroe Street to make a left turn onto Division Street. A black 2010 Nissan was parked in the right lane of Monroe Street, just south of the Malibu.

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A 2010 white Chevy Impala, traveling north on Monroe Street in the left lane, struck the rear of the Malibu. This caused the Malibu to enter southbound traffic, where it struck a white 2018 Dodge cargo van that was traveling south. The van then struck a dump truck that was traveling north on Monroe Street in the left lane.

Neeley was a passenger in the van. The driver was also taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. 

Police described the circumstances of the Saturday crash as follows: 

A blue Dodge Charger was stopped in the right eastbound driving lane on the U.S. 36 bridge around 10:30 a.m. after the driver said it ran out of gas.

A blue Chrysler 200 was eastbound on U.S. 36 in the right driving lane approaching the Dodge. Police said it appears the driver of the Chrysler, later identified as Russell, swerved to the left to avoid striking the Dodge, lost control of the vehicle, crossed the center median and traveled into the westbound lanes of traffic.

A black Toyota Tundra, in which Little was a passenger, was westbound on U.S. 36 in the right driving lane. The Chrysler and the Toyota struck head on.

Police said Russell and Little both were not wearing seatbelts. 

The bridge remained closed to traffic until early Saturday afternoon. 


Contact Allison Petty at (217) 421-6986. Follow her on Twitter: @AllisonAPetty

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