Mother killed, 6 kids injured in Columbia crash - Republic-Times | News

Mother killed, 6 kids injured in Columbia crash

By on February 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Pictured is the crash scene on Route 3 in Columbia early Tuesday afternoon. (Kermit Constantine photo)


A local mother was killed and her six young children were injured after their Chevrolet Suburban was struck by a dump truck shortly before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Columbia.

The crash occurred on Route 3 at Veterans Parkway right outside of Columbia High School.

Columbia police and fire department personnel responded to the crash along with ambulances from Columbia, Monroe County and Dupo.

Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill was dispatched to the crash a short time later.

The driver of the Suburban, 41-year-old Emily M. Webb, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her six children were all transported to area hospitals for treatment of injuries ranging from critical to minor in nature. A prayer vigil for the family took place Tuesday night at Hope Christian Church south of Columbia.

The 2000 Sterling dump truck, which was hauling grain, was driven by 86-year-old Donald L. Eccher of Millstadt. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a minor rib injury sustained in the crash.

First responders initially requested an ARCH Air Medical Service helicopter to respond to the crash site but later disregarded it.

Emily Webb

Northbound Route 3 was closed near the intersection until about 5 p.m. as Illinois State Police performed accident reconstruction. Witnesses said the dump truck was traveling north on Route 3 and the Suburban was driving west through the intersection from Veterans Parkway when the crash occurred.

Webb homeschooled her six children. Her husband, Bryan, is a deacon at Heritage of Grace Church in Columbia.

Church members remember Emily as a sweet woman with a gift for making others feel comfortable and welcome at church.

A GoFundMe page set up for the Webb family has already received more than $70,000 in donations. To donate, click here.

House of Neighborly Service is also accepting tax deductible donations on behalf of the Webb family. To donate online, click here.

Funeral arrangements for Emily have been set. For her obituary, click here.

Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Jim Broshears said Red Bud volunteer fireman Curt Guebert was driving south on Route 3 and witnessed the crash. Guebert jumped out of his vehicle and rushed over to the Suburban, using a knife to cut the seat belts and remove the children prior to EMS and firefighter arrival.

“Having someone with that experience get on scene first, it helped the process go better,” Broshears said. “Curt did a great job.”
The Facebook group Citizens Demanding Change on Illinois Route 3, Columbia, Illinois has gained popularity in the wake of Tuesday’s crash, with group members calling for reduced speed limits and delayed stoplights at all intersections along Route 3 in Columbia.


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