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VILLA GROVE — A fatal rural Douglas County crash claimed a third life Saturday with the death of Shirley J. Jones.

Champaign Coroner Duane E. Northrup said in a statement that Jones, 78, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana at 3:55 a.m. Jones had been hospitalized with severe injuries since a Dec. 7 crash on a country road east of Villa Grove, where she lived.

The same crash had earlier resulted in the deaths of Jones’ husband John Jones, 75, and passenger Kristine Trudeau, 66, who also lived in Villa Grove.

A previous news release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the crash had happened in the early evening when a car driven by John Jones had been in collision with a skid steer machine. Skid steers are used to dig, push and lift material like soil and this one had been clearing debris from the roadway, the sheriff’s office said. The skid steer driver, who was not named by police, refused treatment at the scene but was later taken to hospital by private transportation.

The sheriff’s office report had said John Jones had been traveling along East County Road 1450 North when he was “unable to reduce speed to avoid a collision and subsequently rear-ended the skid-steer.”

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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