Crash kills woman days before her birthday


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Mary Hinton’s house still stands.

Through the hole where the car drove through you can see the charred inside.

But on the front gate to the house, there are decorations.

“She called us every day. It wasn’t like maybe, it was every day before she went to bed,” Jeff Largent said. “If I didn’t get her garbage out, she would say, are you going to take my garbage out, and I would say yea I am going to get it. She was just really good people.”

Hinton’s birthday was Monday. She would have been 88.

Her neighbors Jeff and Vicki, thought they would celebrate with her, but instead they are mourning her.

“We would get her something, she would get us something, cards or whatever,” Jeff Largent said. “She would come over, we would have a cup of coffee something.”

“She knew birthdays, she knew Christmases, she was like Family, she was family,” Vicki Largent said.

Hinton was killed after a drunk driver tore through the front of her home, and caused an explosion.

This was the second time that somebody drove off the rode into Hinton’s yard.

The first time she was lucky, the car missed the house and struck one of the Largent’s cars in the drive way.

“See that fence?” Jeff Largent said. “Its all brand new. Last year, a drunk drove through here, tore that fence out and wrecked our car. No license, no insurance. It’s an every day thing around here.”

Every night, she would call the Largents at 7:30 to let them know she was OK, and going to bed.

She even called the night of the crash.

But a few hours later, Largent had to make a call – to Hinton’s family – telling them about the tragic accident.

She had more years ahead of her, she really did,” Vicki Largent said.

Hinton’s funeral Service is this Friday, one week after the accident.

But the Largents said it will take much longer than a week to get used to not getting that phone call every night.

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