Highland News Leader

Highland area police briefs: March 10-16

Editor’s note: The following incidents were listed among the official reports of local law enforcement agencies and court clerks. Readers are reminded that an arrest or charge does not constitute a finding of guilt. Only a court of law can make that determination.

Man pleads guilty to driving drunk during fatal accident

A Maryville man pleaded guilty March 15 for his role in a 2015 fatal motor vehicle accident on Interstate 55 in Madison County.

Steven L. Willis, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI resulting in death, a Class 2 felony.

At 8 p.m. Oct. 22, 2015, Illinois State Police were dispatched to the fatal accident that occurred at mile marker 16.0 on northbound I-55. Samantha S. Miller, 27, was killed when Willis’ 2014 Chevrolet truck struck and killed her. Investigators believe that Miller had pulled over to the side of the road when her vehicle, a Mitsubishi, had broken down. Miller, who was with her three children, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This was a terrible tragedy for the victim and her family and loved ones. I pray that we can provide some measure of healing for them by bringing this defendant to justice,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.

Willis will remain released on bond until he is sentenced by Associate Judge Neil Schroeder. He faces a sentence ranging from three to 14 years in prison, and will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence.

Marine couple charged with heroin possession

On Tuesday, March 14, at approximately 4:56 p.m. officers of the Marine Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a red Pontiac Grand Am in the 100 block of S. Duncan Street for an alleged traffic violation.

According to press releases from the police department, Harley N. Logue, 24, was the driver and Timothy J. Simon, 32, was the passenger. Officers recognized Simon due to him being arrested multiple times prior and Logue due to her being arrested one week prior for allegedly driving under the influence.

In that incident, Marine police were called to the Stop N Go gas station, located at 102 W. Division Street in Marine, on March 7 at approximately 2:15 p.m., in reference to a suspicious female inside the gas station. The caller advised that the female was “acting strange and could hardly walk without running into things.” According to a separate press release, upon arrival to the gas station, officers observed Logue in the driver’s seat of a red Pontiac and a man who appeared to be passed out in the passenger seat. Logue allegedly admitted that she and her boyfriend had used heroin, the press release said, which led to the DUI charge.

According to police, since the March 14 traffic stop was close to where Simon and Logue lived, the stop was moved to that location. The owner of the residence gave consent for officers to search the residence, where they located a large amount of drug paraphernalia and a substance believed to be heroin, the press release said.

Logue and Simon were both taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony charge, and transported to the Madison County Jail. Their bonds were set at $40,000 each.

New Baden house fire sends two adults, child to hospital

A house fire in New Baden sent two adults and their 3-year-old child to the hospital March 16.

New Baden Fire Protection District Chief Matt Flanagan said the house — at Fifth Street and Illinois Street — is a total loss.

Firefighters battled the flames for about an hour before getting the fire under control. The fire happened about 11:30 a.m.

Samuel Corley, Rachel Willman and their 3-year-old child, Christian Corley, were in the house at the time of the fire.

Flanagan said they were all taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Rachel Willman’s brother, Sean Begley, said he visited the couple and the child at the hospital.

“They’re doing OK,” Begley said Thursday afternoon.

Man killed in car-train crash in Clinton County

A 24-year-old Beckemeyer man was killed March 16 when his car collided with a train in Clinton County.

Spencer Crafton was driving to a friend’s house when a Norfolk Southern train traveling west hit the passenger side of his vehicle, Sgt. Dan Travous of the sheriff’s department said.

Crafton was flown to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis where he was later pronounced dead.

The rural train crossing did not have crossing lights, Travous said.

Officials do not suspect that drugs or alcohol played a role, Travous said. The conductor of the two-person cargo train was shaken up but otherwise seemed OK, he added.

The department was called around 9:45 a.m. to a private lane at 24505 Illinois 161. The area is east of Hoffman.

The Hoffman and Huey-Ferrin-Boulder fire departments, LifeStar Ambulance and an evacuation helicopter responded, according to a news release.

HPD warrant arrests

▪ Sarah Lynn Ferguson, 42, of Highland was arrested on March 14 on an HPD warrant for failure to appear in court on charges of driving while having a suspended license, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, and a safety belt violation. She was issued a recognizance bond and was released.

▪ Dusty Lee Reagan, 36, of Highland was arrested by HPD on March 15 on a fugitive from justice warrant from St. Louis County, Mo., for probation violations.

HPD misdemeanors, tickets, citations

March 11

▪ Danny Burke, 24, of Highland was charged with speeding.

▪ Michael Torti, 24, of Pocahontas was charged with having an expired vehicle registration.

March 12

▪ A juvenile boy, 17, of Highland was charged with improper lane usage, unlawful consumption of alcohol and illegal transportation of alcohol.

▪ Justin Wilson, 34, of Highland was charged with not having a valid vehicle registration.

▪ Matthew K. Fox, 39, of Highland was charged with criminal trespass to property and resisting a peace officer. Fox was charged with trespassing for allegedly entering the Circle K convenience store after having previously been told by management he was not allowed there. He was charged with resisting arrest for allegedly pushing an officer, yelling at the officer and moving away from the officer, who was trying to handcuff him.

March 13

▪ Angela White, 39, of Highland was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

▪ Shannon Barrington, 41, of Granite City was charged with having an expired vehicle registration.

March 14

▪ A juvenile, 17, of Highland was charged with disobeying a traffic control device.

▪ Angela Cruz, 20, of Highland was charged with operation of an uninsured motor vehicle.

March 15

▪ No tickets issued.

March 16

▪ Terry Gines, 52, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged with making an improper turn.