Early morning crash in Washington County results in life-threatening injury

A teen is being treated for life-threatening injuries after a one-vehicle, early morning accident in Washington County on Sunday, police say. Charges are pending in the crash that occurred on a country road at approximately 1:25 a.m.

According to the Illinois State Police, preliminary reports state that a blue 2006 Mitsubishi driven by Morgan E. Witthaus, 18, of Centralia was traveling along Noltings Road about a quarter mile from Illinois Route 177 when a passenger climbed onto the sun roof, slid down the hood and was struck by the vehicle.

The passenger has been identified as Victoria R. Lyons, 19, of Sandoval. Lyons was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. According to a family member’s post, Lyons is stable but in critical condition.

Witthaus and another passenger Andy C. Vonburg, 20, of Sandoval, were not injured in the accident. State police say the investigation is ongoing.

Witthaus has been charged with a felony charge of aggravated reckless driving resulting in an injury and a misdemeanor charge of purchase and transportation of alcohol by a minor in a motor vehicle. She pleaded not guilty to charges on Monday, March 8. A preliminary hearing is set for April 6.

The Standard will update this post as more information becomes available.

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