Police officer fatally injured in accident by Hecker last week

James M. Ellis, Jr.

Two people, including an off duty police officer, were fatally injured, and another person was seriously injured, in a three vehicle accident on State Route 159 between Hecker and Smithton last week.

According to the Illinois State Police, on Oct. 10 around 11 p.m., Dale L. Claybrone, Jr., 23, of Chicago, was driving a 2016 Hyundai Sonata northbound on State Route 159, following behind a 2013 semi-tractor trailer truck driven by Jude A. Greco, 50, of Caseyville.

Approximately 600 feet south of the intersection with Brick School Road, Claybrone passed the semi, striking head-on a southbound 2009 Dodge Caravan driven by James M. “Mitch” Ellis, Jr., 49, of Hecker. The impact caused Claybrones’ vehicle to spin back into the northbound lanes where it was struck by the semi.

Ellis and Claybrone’s passenger, Ariah Claybrone, 24, of Memphis, TN, were both transported by ambulance to an area hospital where they were pronounced deceased.

For more, please see this week’s print edition.