Car Train Accident Claims Four Lives Thursday Night in Vandalia

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STORY UPDATED 10/31 @ 4:20 PM

According to Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen, 35 year old Crystal Anna, of Greenville, passed away Friday in the noon hour as a result of injuries sustained in an accident in Vandalia Thursday night.

According to the Illinois State Police, Anna was driving southbound on Sixth Street in Vandalia last night around 6:50, just before the annual Halloween parade. Police report Anna allegedly drove onto the railroad tracks at the Main Street crossing and was struck by an oncoming eastbound freight train. Police report the gates and lights were functioning at the intersection.

The crash took the lives of 10 year-old Abbie Wisnasky, 13 year-old Drake Wisnasky, and 18 year-old Alyssa Sewell. All three were pronounced dead at the scene around 7:16 p.m. by Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen. According to Bowen, 9-year old Dylan Wisnasky was transported to St. Louis Children’s Hospital following the accident. A condition update was not available at news time.

The children who lost their lives in the accident were students in the Unit 2 School District. Unit 2 Superintendent Jeff Strieker made the following statement:

“Human life is precious. The sudden loss to life is always very difficult to understand and overcome. When that loss involves our very young people, it is tragic for those left behind. The Bond County Community, especially those who knew Abby, Drake, and Alyssa, will come together as a family to deal with this tragedy. The District family is very close and we will do what is necessary to support the families and loved ones of our lost students. We appreciate all the positive thoughts and prayers that you are willing to share on behalf of Abby, Drake, and Alyssa. We appreciate that very much.”

Strieker told WGEL counselors and Bond County Ministerial Alliance staff were available to Greenville Elementary Students Friday and he had received offers of support from the Regional Office of Education and the Mulberry Grove Unit 1 School District.

Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman released a statement Friday afternoon, which read, in part, “The City of Vandalia extends its prayers and condolences to the family involved in the accident…We also pray for the witnesses, first responders, train engineer(s), and the citizens of the Cities of Greenville, IL and Vandalia, IL, that they may find peace as they begin to process the events…”

The accident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police, Vandalia Police, and the Fayette County Coroner’s office.

Vandalia Police, Vandalia firefighters, Fayette County Sheriff’s Officers, Illinois State Police, Fayette County Hospital Ambulance Personnel, Altamont Area Ambulance Personnel, and the Fayette County Coroner responded to the scene.

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