Watseka couple killed in head-on collision

WATSEKA — A Watseka couple died in a head-on collision in that city on Sunday afternoon.

Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum said John R. Dowling and Reta A. Dowling, both 84, died in the accident.

A news release from District 21 Illinois State Police said Mr. Dowling was driving east in a 2016 Chrysler Town & Country minivan on U.S. 24 near Oppyville Road in Watseka around 2:14 p.m. Sunday when the minivan entered the westbound lane of traffic and hit a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 pickup truck head-on.

Mr. Dowling was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was transported to Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka and later airlifted to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where she was pronounced dead at 5:06 p.m.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said in a news release that Mrs. Dowling died from multiple traumatic injuries she received in the crash. No autopsy will be performed, Northrup said.

The two occupants of the pickup truck — identified as Dennis A. Olp, 56, of Desert Hills, Ariz., and Diana Lynne Olp, 56, of Knox, Ind. — were taken to Iroquois Memorial Hospital and later transported to Carle Foundation Hospital with what police said were non-life-threatening injuries.

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