Head On Collision Claims Life Of Centralia Man

(GERMANTOWN, IL) — A head-on collision Wednesday morning on Illinois Route 161 between Bartelso and Germantown claimed the life of a 76-year-old Centralia man. According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, Francis Kennedy was driving eastbound when he swerved into the westbound lane and struck a pickup truck driven by 55-year-old Connie Loepker, of Germantown, head-on. The crash happened just west of Red Fox Lane. Kennedy was pronounced dead at the scene. Loepker was airlifted from the scene to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment. A passenger in the Kennedy vehicle, 58-year-old Sandra Kennedy, of Centralia, was initially transported by ambulance to a local hospital but was later airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital. According to accident reports, passersby feared the Kennedy vehicle might catch fire and helped Sandra Kennedy from the vehicle as it was smoking.