Woman dies after Sunday’s Woodstock car accident

Published: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 11:56 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 11:57 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A woman has died from injuries she suffered as part of a two-vehicle accident that sent nine people to the hospital Sunday in Woodstock, according to the Woodstock Police Department.

Woodstock firefighters and police officers responded to a report of a head-on collision along Route 14 between Doty and Lily Pond roads at 1:23 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release. Witnesses saw a 2001 silver Dodge Durango swerve from the eastbound lane on Route 14 to the westbound lane, striking a 2004 blue Mercury Marquis head on.

The driver of the Durango, Ramon Castillo, 33, of McHenry appeared to lose control of the vehicle on the snow and ice covered roadway, the news release stated. The driver of the Mercury, a 77-year-old man from an unincorporated area of the county near Woodstock, was unable to avoid the collision because of the roadway conditions.

The snowy weather and failure to adjust speed were the main causes of the accident, Woodstock police Sgt. Dennis Leard said. Nine people – including five children ages 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 – were injured in the accident.

Law enforcement officials said Julia Jessie, 77, the lone passenger in the Mercury, was pronounced dead at 4 p.m. Sunday at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock.

Two of the children were taken by ambulance to Rockford Memorial Hospital. Under better weather conditions, they would have been taken via Flight for Life, Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen said.

The conditions of the two children originally was reported as critical. An update was unavailable Monday afternoon.

Castillo was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, no valid driver’s license and operating an uninsured vehicle. He and Maria Hernandez-Simon, 34, a passenger in the Durango, were treated at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock and released.

The condition of the other children involved in the collision is unknown. All five children were passengers in the Durango.

Dale Jessie, the driver of the Mercury, was at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock in fair condition as of Monday afternoon.

Crews from Lakewood, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Marengo, McHenry Township and Nunda Rural assisted with the incident.

The road was closed for 90 minutes as officials cleared the scene.

• Stephen DiBenedetto and Shawn Shinneman contributed to this report.

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