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DECATUR -- A woman from Brownstown and an out of state semi-truck driver died Saturday night in a head-on collision on Interstate 57 near Effingham.

State Police Master Sgt. Shad Payne said 83-year-old Shirley M. Klitzing had been driving southbound in the northbound lanes at 10:28 p.m. when her car was in collision with a truck driven by Richard P. Messerve, 68, from Mayer, Ariz.

Both Klitzing and Messerve had to be cut from the wreckage of their vehicles; Klitzing was flown to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana where she was later pronounced dead; Messerve was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Payne said the force of the collision had thrown the car around the front of the Freightliner truck, which overturned and struck a guardrail. Klitzing was faulted by police for driving in the wrong direction.


Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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