MT. VERNON — Jefferson County had 22 fatalities in 2013, according to year-end statistics provided by Coroner Eddie Joe Marks.
Of the 22 accidents, seven involved motor vehicles and three were motorcycle related. There was also one tractor rollover, a fatality involving a train, and two fire-related deaths. Marks said two of the fatalities involved drugs and/or alcohol, and there were six deaths related to medical causes, embolisms and/or falls. There was also one homicide in the county this year — occurring in Bonnie in October.
Jefferson County had nine fatal traffic accidents in 2012 and eight in 2011. There were a total of 21 accidents resulting in fatalities in 2012.
The coroner’s fiscal year begins in December, and Marks had his first fatality in December of last year when Frank J. Hortin, 53, of Waltonville succumbed to injuries sustained in a home fire.
A house fire in Mt. Vernon on Feb. 6 claimed the life of 63-year-old Donna Romano of 2023 College Street. Romano, who was physically disabled, was trapped inside her home, according to Mt. Vernon Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Sargent.
The first traffic fatality occurred in April when Shawn W. Willard, 30, of Mt. Vernon, struck a deer on Illinois Highway 148. The vehicle collided with a culvert, causing the gas tank to rupture. Marks said Willard died from blunt force trauma.
A Mt. Vernon man was struck by a Union Pacific Railroad freight train on June 8. The victim, 27-year-old Dominique D. McCrae of the 400 block of South 15th Street, was fishing on the railroad trestle near Atchison Creek, just south of Bonnie.
Two people were killed in a truck-motorcycle accident on June 21 in Woodlawn. Billy Philpot, 53, of Vandalia, and Debra Graham, 50, of Mt. Vernon, were the occupants of the motorcycle that was struck by an eastbound pickup driven by Neal Dailey, 41, of Woodlawn. Marks said Dailey was attempting to turn into the Shell station on Illinois 15 when he struck the westbound motorcycle.