Douglas County rollover claims life of Sidney woman
VILLA GROVE — A teen learning to drive apparently lost control of a pickup truck on a Douglas County highway Sunday afternoon, claiming the life of a Sidney woman who was in the truck.
Douglas County Coroner Joe Victor said he pronounced Darlene Tarter, 47, dead at the scene of a single-vehicle rollover crash on Hayes Road about 4 miles west of Villa Grove.
The accident happened about 3:45 p.m. near Douglas County Road 1285 E, Victor said. It was investigated by the Douglas County sheriff's department.
Victor said the driver of the truck was a 15-year-old with a learner's permit who lost control of the eastbound pickup truck, causing it to roll over and come to rest on its roof. Douglas County Sheriff Fred Galey declined to release the driver's name.
Mrs. Tarter, the driver's mother, was trapped inside the truck. She was alive when Villa Grove firefighters arrived but died during their attempts to free her, Victor said.
Victor said it was windy at the time of the crash and the 15-year-old may have not known how to handle a strong wind gust.
"It looks like a combination of an inexperienced driver along with possible fatigue," Victor said.
There were also two other young people in the back seat of the truck, a sister of the driver and a friend, Galey said.
All four occupants were wearing seat belts. The other three were injured and taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana, where they were treated and released, Victor said.