One Dead In Early Friday Morning Crash Near Highland


One person was killed early Friday morning in a two-vehicle accident on Rt. 40 west of Highland at Kennedy Lane.

According to Highland Police, the accident occurred at 4:00 a.m. and involved two pickup trucks. Madison County Coroner pronounced the female driver, 45 year old Charlene Dawn Johnson, of Highland, dead at the scene.

Highland EMS took the male driver, 36 year old Wayne Stayton of Collinsville, according to the Belleville News Democrat, to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland and he was transferred to St. Louis University Hospital.

Illinois State Police Captain Timothy Tyler told the BND that Stayton was driving his truck east on Rt. 40 near Kennedy Lane when he crossed the center line and struck Johnson’s westbound truck head on. Tyler reported Stayton had been speeding.

Highland Police, Illinois State Police, Highland-Pierron Firefighters, Highland Firefighters, and Highland EMS responded.

Highway 40 was closed for several hours in both directions from Kennedy Lane to Highland Road while investigators cleaned up the scene and worked at accident reconstruction.

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