Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 19, 2014

Two Benton residents die in vehicle crash

Accident occurred on Illinois 37 Saturday morning

MT. VERNON — — Two Benton residents, including a 9-year-old boy, died early Saturday in a single-vehicle crash on Illinois 37, just north of East Adams Road, in Jefferson County.

The driver of the vehicle, Nicholas W. Rakas, 19, of Benton, was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Health Center with non-life threatening injuries. However, two passengers in the vehicle — Aaron T. May, 9, and Melanie May, 34, — were pronounced dead.

The accident took place at 1:05 a.m. Saturday. It involved a 2000 Jeep traveling south on Illinois 37.

At some point, the Jeep crossed the centerline and traveled onto the east edge of the roadway, where it struck a guard rail. It then continued past the guard rail, rolling into an icy creek bed, where it came to rest on its top, according to an Illinois State Police news release.

The cause of the crash is pending investigation and it's unclear whether any charges will result.

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