AVISTON, IL — A 34-year-old Pocahontas man is facing multiple charges in two separate Clinton County cases stemming from a four-vehicle crash Sunday near Aviston.
According to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, around 7:15pm Sunday, a pickup truck being driven by James E. Wildhaber was heading westbound on US 50 when he crossed the center line, entered the eastbound lane and approached an eastbound Kia sedan. The driver of the Kia attempted to avoid a head-on collision with Wildhaber’s truck and was instead struck in the rear passenger section of the car. Following that collision, Wildhaber continued westbound in the eastbound lane where his truck approached a Ford sedan that was eastbound. The driver of the Ford also attempted to avoid a collision with the pickup truck and was struck in the front passenger section of the vehicle. The front-seat passenger in that vehicle was ultimately airlifted from the scene to a St. Louis area hospital with serious injuries. The two other occupants of the Ford were transported to the hospital in Breese for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The impact of the collision sent the Ford into a spin and when it stopped it was facing southbound across the westbound lane.
A fourth vehicle in the westbound lane then struck the Ford sedan in the B-pillar, which is the support structure between the front and passenger section of a sedan.
Wildhaber was charged Monday in Clinton County Court with Class 2 felony aggravated third DUI, causing an accident resulting in injury or death, misdemeanor failure to give information or render aid, misdemeanor driving under the influence, improper traffic lane usage, and failure to reduce speed. In a separate case relating to the collision with the fourth vehicle, he was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, improper traffic lane usage, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Bond on both cases has been set at $50,000. He’s next scheduled to appear in court February 14th for a preliminary hearing and first appearance with a private attorney.