Tragedy settled into the Watseka community on Father’s Day.
A two-vehicle accident just west of Watseka on Route 24 claimed the lives of John and Reta Dowling.
Authorities report their vehicle was eastbound on the curve, just west of the T.P. & W. railroad crossing, when it crossed the centerline colliding with another vehicle, which was westbound.
Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum said 84-year-old John Dowling was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Reta, was pronounced dead at Carle Hospital in Urbana after initial treatment at IMH in Watseka.
The occupants of the westbound pickup truck were identified by Illinois State Police as 56-year-old Dennis Olp of Arizona and 56-year-old Diana Olp of Knox, IN. Their injuries were not life-threatening, according to police.
The Dowlings were both active community leaders.
John Dowling was a retired Unit Nine school principal, a former Iroquois County Board member and Middleport Township Supervisor. He and his wife were also active volunteers. John was also a past-member of the IHSA Board of Directors.
It’s that time of year when the temperature goes up and heat and humidity, which can be deadly, make being outdoors very uncomfortable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The American Red Cross has steps you can take to help stay safe when the temperatures soar.
“It’s important for everyone to realize that warm weather can be dangerous,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “The Red Cross has steps you can follow to make sure you and your loved ones are protected when hot weather hits your area.”
HEAT SAFETY TIPS
Some people are more at risk of developing a heat-related illness, including adults age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, people who work outside, infants and children and athletes. Here are steps you should take in hot weather:
Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc. Avoid extreme temperature changes. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.
If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.
HEAT STROKE LIFE-THREATENING Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand and settings for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts including heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips including heat-related emergencies. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
The Danville Dans baseball team will honor veterans and active duty military personnel at tonight’s (Friday) game at Danville Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm. All active-duty military personnel and veterans will be admitted to the game free of charge.
A post-game fireworks display is planned. Danville Stadium will also host a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is making motorists aware of I-57 work that begins Monday, June 18. Lane reductions will be enforced at Mile Marker 275 in Iroquois County. The work allows for the painting of the overhead structure beginning with the southbound direction. The work is expectged to be completed by the end of summer.
Venus Paiting Company was awarded the contract. Motorists are urged to use caution traveling near or through the work zone.