Metro-East News

Breese man identified as van driver in fatal Clinton County crash

A Breese man has been identified as the victim in a tractor-trailer versus car accident in Clinton County last Friday.

Mikel J. Huelsmann, 61, was killed on U.S. 50 just west of Flat Branch Road, according to Illinois State Police.

Preliminary reports indicate that the 2003 Honda Odyssey Huelsmann was driving westbound crossed the center line and entered the eastbound lane, striking the front end of a 2012 Freightliner with a semi-trailer.

According to Beckemeyer Fire Chief Luke Baker, whose agency was first called to the scene, the van Huelsmann was driving was fully engulfed in flames by the time first responders arrived. Huelsmann was pronounced dead on the scene by the Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Thomas Stidham, 48, of Clay City, was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

An ISP release stated that an investigation is ongoing by their Crash Reconstruction Unit. No further information was available as of Monday.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.