High school student killed in crash

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fatal crash charleston

Update: 10:20 pm, 5/24/17, Wednesday 

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — One woman didn’t think twice before jumping in to try and save a teenager’s life. 

A vigil was held to remember Charleston High School student, Jordan Holly. There was a room full of teenagers, along with some family members trying to understand what happened and why.

One woman understands all too well because she was there when it happened.

Flowers remain at the intersection where 16 year old Jordan Holly was killed.

It’s a day many will never forget, especially Britteney Derixon.

The mother of three and certified nursing assistant was driving behind Holly when the crash happened.

“I was scared, I was really thinking about anything except trying to make sure everybody was okay,” says Britteney Derixon. 

She saw the truck hit the teenager’s car and the car slide into a front yard. Derixson checked the truck driver and moved to the car and Holly. 

“You know felt her wrist, felt her neck, for a pulse and I just could find one so i just started doing compressions on her,” says Britteney Derixson.

It was the first time the CNA had ever done CPR.

She kept Holly’s passenger talking while emergency officials came for help. 

“I keep thinking about it and wondering if there’s something more i should have done,” comments Derixson. 

She says as a mother, she’s heartbroken for Holly’s parents and she reached out to the holly family to share her condolences.

“I can’t imagine losing one of kids and in something that tragic,” says Derixson. 

The minor who was in the car with Jordan Holly was taken to hospital.

There’s still no word on the extent of the passenger’s condition. 

Update: 12:45 pm, 5/24/17, Wednesday  

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — The community is remembering the life of a teenager killed in a car crash. It happened Tuesday at the intersection of Lerna and Old State roads, in Mattoon.

Police say Jordan Holly was traveling on Old State Road and did not stop for a driver coming south on Lerna.

Another minor was in the car with her and was taken to the hospital. No word on the extent of the passenger’s injuries.

Gary Stevens was watching TV at home when he heard a crash just outside his door.

“I heard the truck brakes lock up and then I heard the impact, so I walked outside and it was a pretty bad crash. The truck was still pushing the car into the yard over there.”

He says crashes happen at this intersection a lot because it’s hard to see around the corners. But, Stevens knew this one was different.

“I just told my wife, I said, ‘This is a bad one.'”

16-year old Jordan Holly was killed. She had just finished her sophomore year at Charleston High School.

“It is a shock. It affects many people.”

Assistant Superintendent Todd Vilardo knows the family personally.

“The Holly family is well-respected in our community. Mrs. Holly is principal at Carl Sandburg Elementary School.”

Dozens gathered at both schools to remember the life of a varsity cheerleader, a babysitter and a girl, who school leaders say, was a great student and an even greater person.

“Jordan was a very well-liked, vibrant, energetic, good student and young lady. She was a contributing student at Charleston High School.”

Stevens says what happened was tragic and he hopes more can be done to prevent things like this in the future.

“I think they need to put some stoplights up here or something to slow people down.”

The high school principal says there were a couple gatherings for Jordan Tuesday night; one brought in a couple hundred people.

The other driver, 62-year old Michael Chaney, of Toledo, was not seriously hurt.

Original: 10:15 pm, 5/23/17, Tuesday

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A community is grieving after a deadly crash killed a high school student.

Charleston school officials say 16 year old Jordan Holly died Tuesday afternoon. Holly’s friends say she was a cheerleader and a babysitter, and say she’ll be remembered as a person who was kind to everyone she met.

People who live near the accident site say the intersection is notoriously dangerous. The coroner confirmed a crash happened at the intersection of Lerna road and Old State road this afternoon.

Neighbors say a car and a dump truck collided, went off the road, and stopped in someone’s yard. The vehicles hit a tree branch and left deep skid marks in the grass. Neighbors say crews were out there until about 7 pm.

Officials have not given out any details about the crash yet, but people who live near the intersection say crashes happen there quite often. Holly’s friends say it’s hard to believe she’s gone.

“She’s just a loving, caring person, and she never did any harm,” says friend Breanna Margenthaler, “And it’s really hard to deal with what happened today. It’s just, it hit home really hard.”  

“This intersection is probably one of the worst ones in town,” says Rhandi Patterson, who lives one house away from the crash site, “There’s at least one accident here a year. This was probably one of the worst ones that I’ve seen in the 14 years I’ve lived here.”

Early Tuesday evening, Charleston schools announced the news of Holly’s death.

Neighbors told us the driver of the dump truck appeared to be in distress after the crash. There’s no word yet on his condition, or that of any other people that may have been involved.

School officials say grief counselors will be on hand for anyone who needs them. They say people can gather Wednesday morning at 9 am. Meetings will be held at Carl Sandburg Elementary School, and at the high school media center.


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