01/17/05 — 6-year-old girl is killed in car crash

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6-year-old girl is killed in car crash

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on January 17, 2005 2:03 PM

A 6-year-old girl was killed before dawn today when her mother's car was struck by an oil tanker truck at U.S. 70 and Beston Road, just east of Walnut Creek.

The girl, identified as Nikita Pearson of 3061 New Hope Road, LaGrange, was being taken to her grandmother's home in Mount Olive.

Her mother, Bonita Pearson, 44, was taken by a Wayne County ambulance to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where she was undergoing emergency-room treatment for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

The investigating officer, state Highway Patrol Trooper David Finch, said the collision happened like this:

Ms. Pearson was going south and had stopped in the median of the busy, four-lane divided highway at about 5:25 a.m.. She pulled out in front of the eastbound truck that was in the right lane, and the vehicles collided.

Her 2003 Nissan Sentra was demolished and stopped just south of the intersection near a convenience store parking lot.

Ms. Pearson and her daughter, who was in the right back seat, were wearing seat belts, Finch said.

The other driver, Daniel Little, 38, of Jacksonville, stopped the oil tanker on the right shoulder, just east of the intersection. He was not injured.

The Pearson car was valued at $12,600. The truck, registered to Dillon Transport Inc. of McCook, Ill., sustained about $3,600 in damages. It had to be towed to a repair shop.

The fatal crash was the first in 2005 on county roads.

Finch said the collision remained under investigation. He said he would decide later if any charges would be filed after consulting with the District Attorney's Office.

Wayne County Sheriff's Capt. George Raecher, who lives nearby, was summoned to the scene because of a report that the crash was the result of a domestic situation. But Raecher said the report was not true. He said the mother was taking her daughter to the girl's grandmother's home in Mount Olive as she did every day.

Elroy volunteer firefighters and other sheriff's deputies assisted at the scene.