Two drivers were injured and a passenger is dead following an accident in Effingham County early Sunday morning, according to Illinois State Police.
A bronze 2012 GMC Terrain driven by Andrew E. Welter, 33, of Altamont, was westbound on U.S. 40 near 900th St., west of Lake Sara Road, when he crossed over into the eastbound lane. An eastbound black 2016 Ford Fiesta driven by Mara D. Ferguson, 28, of Charleston, swerved to the left but still collided with Welter’s vehicle head on. The accident occurred at 12:16 a.m.
Ferguson was transported by ambulance to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Welter was taken to HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Carle. The front-seat passenger in Ferguson’s vehicle, Alyssa M. Rhodes, 29, of Charleston, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Welter was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
The Effingham County Coroner’s office, the Illinois State Police and the Effingham County State’s Attorney’s Office are continuing the investigation pending the results of the autopsy, toxicology reports and the ISP Reconstruction Report.
Other agencies that assisted on scene were the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, Shumway Fire Protection District, Altamont Fire Protection District, Abbott EMS, Effingham County Coroner’s Office, ISP ARO Team and Illinois Department of Transportation.