Three-car crash leaves one dead

Three-car crash leaves one dead

There are 101 comments on the Belleville News-Democrat story from Jan 27, 2008, titled Three-car crash leaves one dead. In it, Belleville News-Democrat reports that:

“She was just a sweetheart. She was well loved and will be dearly missed around the county.”

A 47-year-old Highland woman, who had worked in the Madison County circuit clerk's office for the last eight years, was killed Friday night in a three-car accident on Illinois 143 near Marine.

Janet M. Bell was traveling east on Illinois 143 at Wellen Road when at 5:39 p.m. her vehicle was struck head-on by a vehicle in the westbound lanes that crossed the center line.

Illinois State Police said the other driver, Austin G. Bishop, 20, of 706 Mary Ann Court in Freeburg, lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic. Read more

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Belleville News-Democrat.

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Wondering

San Mateo, CA

#1 Jan 29, 2008
Any charges on the driver?
Family

AOL

#2 Jan 30, 2008
We can only hope as the family that charges other than the minor traffic charges are brought against the driver. There was no reason that he should have crossed the center line. Janet is going to be terribly missed and her death should be investigated and prosecuted!
Friend

AOL

#3 Jan 30, 2008
We can only expect alcohol or drugs played a role in this accident. Afterall, the passenger has had an accident before due to alcolhol resulting in a totaled car and the driver of the accident was in jail. Unknown cause for the jail. All I know is that the good Lord took the wrong person in the accident. I went to the funeral for Ms. Bell and it should not have been her laying there.
Coolio25

AOL

#4 Jan 31, 2008
I know the people in this crash.
Friend

AOL

#5 Feb 1, 2008
We are hoping to hear something in the near future about more charges from the States Attorney. We can only hope justice will prevail.
Wondering Again

United States

#6 Feb 1, 2008
Why is everything so secret? Is the driver related to someone important?
Niece

AOL

#7 Feb 1, 2008
I will tell you what is known from the accident report. Mr. Bishops car crossed the center lane for unknown reasons and hit Ms. Bells car. A witness reports that Bishops car spun three times. However another witness reports that it just crossed the line and hit her. There are no skid marks at the scene. Ms. Bell died from a broken neck and massive internal injuries most likely upon impact. Medical details on the other parties are unknown. A court hearing has been set for March 5 relating to the tickets that were issued (no insurance and improper lane usage). Janet who was one of the drivers is not related to anyone important just a large family who cares a lot about her and will miss her very much. In regard to the other young men involved in the crash. I know nothing about them. There were many victims in this accident not just my aunt who died. She left behind a 23 year old daughter who was to get married this year. Hearing the song holes in the floor of heaven at the funeral broke everyone down. Janet was taken from us in a very tragic way. Only time will tell and only the investigators can say if more charges will be brought against the other driver. It won't matter what happens to Mr. Bishop, it will never bring our loved one back.
Wondering Again

United States

#8 Feb 2, 2008
I am so sorry. I have heard the driver had always been a mess up. I have the deepest sympathy for all of your family.
Niece

Greenville, IL

#9 Feb 2, 2008
Thank you for your sympathy. We have also heard Mr. Bishop may have had an altered status when the accident occured. Unfortunately drug tox was not done that night. Why we will never know. Only time will tell.
Wondering

United States

#10 Feb 2, 2008
What, no tests? That isn't right. I'd ask the county prosecutor why tests weren't given. Something is wrong.
Niece

Greenville, IL

#11 Feb 3, 2008
We are working with someone to bring on more criminal charges. That will never bring her back but if it saves someone else then we are okay with that. We are doing what we can to keep on top of this in hopes that things will work out.
Wondering

United States

#12 Feb 3, 2008
I wish you the best of luck. It is so refreshing to find someone on Topix who doesn't wish something horrible on others. May God be with you and your family.
Niece

AOL

#13 Feb 4, 2008
We understand that accidents happen we just want to know why and if he was under the influence get the young man help so another life isn't lost or injured. Thank you again.
Unknown

San Mateo, CA

#14 Feb 5, 2008
My sympathy to the family.

The states attorney would have to ask the officer why no tests were done. The kid could have been sober, just because one has an alcohol history doesn't mean that there are drunk when they have an accident. The only way to know is to be there in person and witness it. Every witness has a different story.

No, I don't know the suspect in this case nor do I care to.
Niece

AOL

#15 Feb 6, 2008
It doesn't matter. I just found out that drugs and alcohol will not matter with the states attorney. We were informed that if he feels it was reckless homicide they will charge. If not Mr. Bishop has to live the rest of his life knowing he took someone elses life. We just pray no one else gets hurt. We alreday know the alcohol was negative they did an ETOH level. We are not saying he was drunk or drugged all I am saying is he was driving recklessly per witnesses. We will never know what exactly happened because our go to person is dead. Punishing him will never bring back my Aunt we just hope it changes his driving habits so another life is not needlessly lost. Thank you for the sympathy.
Friend

AOL

#16 Feb 7, 2008
I hope some type is justice is served. That kid took away one of my best friends, left behind a daughter and a large family who loved her a lot. She was the baby of 10 kids and is missed more than words can described. I have heard from "friends" of the two boys in the other car that they are having complications such as rehospitalizations and surgerys. I don't feel sorry for them at all considering they are still alive to bitch about the inconvenience of it. Too bad for them. They should consider the alternative. I can only hope the family is able to find some peace in time. May God take hold of Janets family and hold on tight for as long as they need. This whole situation could be prolonged while justice works on being served. My thoughts and prayers are with you Tara, Carol, and the rest of Janets family as well as her friends and co-workers.
Everyone vs Mr Bishop

Murray, KY

#17 Feb 7, 2008
Someone needs to stick up for this kid, accidents happen everyday, how can anyone pass judgement? I know its very hurtful to the family who lost a loved one. But,you have to think about everyone envolved, It would be a hurtful process if you were in Mr. Bishop or his families shoes also. I know two different people that have been in this situation. One was an accident (no drugs or alcohol involved , just an accident-wasn't charged)and one that wasn't an accident (drugs and alcohol were involved-was charged) So I ask why no one cares about the rest of a 20 year olds life. People on here wishing life stopping results on another human being (justice/jail time). How are you any better than the next person? And if a drug screen was done the next day I dont understand? You people think it was the wrong results? I dont know any drugs that are out of your system withen one day of taking them. So I would say that since the police found no sign of drugs or alcohol in the kids system then they were not involved. But, time will tell and no one knows the truth except god and the people involved. Until then my prayers are with everyone envolved, even the people on this website that are passing judgement and wishing horrible things on people. God Bless You All
Niece

AOL

#18 Feb 8, 2008
We are not passing judgement on anyone. That is up to a judicial system. We know accidents happen and as you can see in other posts of mine I already mention that. However, a witness reports he was swerving from lane to lane. If that is proven to be the case this may not have been an accident. Like I already said him being further punished is not going to bring back my aunt. Anyone with a conscious will live with the fact that they killed someone everyday for the rest of their natural life and that is punishment enough. Unfortunately until we know the reason for the accident, which we may never know, a judgement CANNOT and is NOT being made. I do care about 20 year olds. I have a brother who is 20 and like I said I know accidents can happen. If you are out there driving around a curve in the road, swerving into oncoming traffic screwing around that is not an accident. I only wish the family of Mr. Bishop does not have to grieve the loss of a family member the way we did. I pray Mr. Bishop considers this a learning opportunity and thinks about how he is driving and pays attention to the roads. The family is NOT passing judgement. As of right now the only posts on here that I know of that are from family are identified as "niece". Any other including "family" is unknown to us. Furthermore the police never did a drug test as previously stated. So knowing if he was under the influence of drugs is yet to be determined. That can be detected however by a hair sample that will let us know his last years history (in the medical field). But as the states attorney said that does not matter because if witnesses place this young man swerving as stated it is then up to authorities to press charges. The family has no say so in that and we have no civil ability to file charges because he had no insurance. That is another complete discussion that I refuse to get into. I want everyone reading this forum to understand that the immediate family is NOT passing judgement on this young man. We do NOT have that power or authority. It is now in the hands of Illinois State Police and Madison County States Attorney Office. Thank you for your concern.
Sad in Freeburg

AOL

#19 Feb 8, 2008
No one is going to stand up for this kid because the majority of people in town know what this kid is like. Accidents do happen but if you don't know the cicumstances of an accident and only those involved do you can't pass judgement. All I can say is that this kid is a screw up. My prayers are with Ms. Bells Family.
Everyone vs Mr Bishop

Murray, KY

#20 Feb 8, 2008
to the neice of the family I think you are the only person who is understanding of this situation. And I hope everything works out for you and your family. But to everyone else posting comments because they think i helps to bash the young man. He is not a screw up by the way....many people screw up when they are younger and things happen he will live with that for the rest of his life and that is a big punishment. So unless your physically attached to this case I dont' think people should be saying things they know nothing about. Also I am involved and I know the circumstances of the accident. Mr. Bishop has been in and out of the hospitol so no one can say he hasn't had a hard time with all this also. You can't bring anyone back from the dead but you can be the person the deceased would want you to be, and would she want you on some website bashing some young kid for the fun of it? I just dont understand...how old are you people? I know this is nothing to be taken lightly but really is it necessary to get online and talk about it until your blue in the face. I'm only on here to stick up for Mr. Bishop because no one else seems to want to. And if I have to come to Freeburg and sit down and have a conversation with some important people then thats what I am going to do. Just let the court systems do there jobs.
thanks

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