Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 4, 2013

Two killed in fatal accident

Staff Report

WASHINGTON COUNTY — — Two members of a Jefferson County family are dead and a third is in serious condition in a St. Louis hospital following an accident in Washington County on Friday night.

According to reports, the accident happened shortly after 8 p.m. on Interstate 64 at the 52 mile marker.

Illinois State Police report Derek Houle, 37, of Bluford and his 9-year-old son Journey of Mt. Vernon died from their injuries.

Police said it appears than an SUV driven by Houle slid on black ice in the westbound lanes causing the vehicle to veer off into the center median, getting stuck in the mud. The father and son, along with 12-year-old daughter Destini, got out of the SUV, and as they were standing in the median another vehicle slid on the roadway and veered into the median hitting all three of the Houles.

Vernie Mordini, 63, of Centralia was driving the vehicle that struck the  three individuals. Destini Houle was taken to Washington County Hospital and then transferred to Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis. She reportedly has several broken bones, including an arm and leg. Her father and brother were pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy coroner.

The accident is being investigated by Illinois State Police, Nashville Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Four people were killed and several others injured in crashes on icy roads in Belleville on Friday night.

According to Illinois State Police, at least 12 separate accidents had occurred on Illinois 15, including the two accidents in which fatal injuries were reported. A Cahokia woman and teenager died in one of the accidents and a father and son from Belleville in the remaining accident.