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Watseka couple killed in weekend crash

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.

94.1 WGFA