MONTGOMERY COUNTY, IL — A head-on crash Saturday night in Montgomery County claimed the lives of four people including the parents and daughter of Vandalia High School Principal Randy Protz.
According to Illinois State Police, around 6:21 p.m. Saturday, 73-year-old William Protz, of Sullivan, was traveling eastbound on Illinois Route 185 with his 72-year-old wife Jacklyn Protz, 14-year-old granddaughter and her 14-year-old friend in the vehicle when a westbound vehicle crossed into their lane and struck them head-on.
All four occupants of the Protz vehicle were pronounced dead on the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner. The names of girls have been released, 14-year-old Jenna Protz and 14-year-old Holly Lidy. Both girls were Freshmen at Vandalia High School and played on the girls basketball team. Both were from Vandalia.
The driver of the westbound vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown from the scene to a trauma center by ARCH helicopter. The name of the driver of that vehicle is not being released.
An Illinois State Police Reconstruction Unit is continuing to investigate the crash.
The four killed in the Protz vehicle were traveling back to Vandalia from Vandalia’s state football playoff game in Williamsville.
A prayer vigil was held Sunday afternoon in the Vandalia High School gym to remember those who were lost in Saturday’s tragic accident.