JEFFERSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Two people have died after a single vehicle crash in Jefferson County early Saturday morning.
The crash happened on Illinois Route 37 about 1/10 of a mile east of Adams Road.
According to Illinois State Trooper Christopher Watson, Nick Rakas a 19-year-old male from Benton, Illinois was driving a 2000 Jeep when the vehicle crossed the center line and crashed through a guard rail and landed in an icy creek bed.
The 19-year-old driver was transported with non life threatening injuries to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
The two passengers in the vehicle were killed in the crash, 34-year-old Melanie May and her 9-year-old Aaron T. May.
"She was a very special woman. She was very well loved and liked by everybody," Chris Grutzius said. "She was a very loving mother. She would always make you laugh, no matter how bad you were feeling. She was truly an awesome lady. She will be greatly missed by everybody.
Melanie worked at Sandy's Bar and Grill in Benton, Illinois for the past few years. And Grutzius and other coworkers are remembering May in their mourning her death, and her son.
"Her kids were everything to her. And she lived life to the fullest," Geneva Langston said. "She always had a smile on her face, you didn't hardly ever see her down and out. We were always dancing around here at work and having a great time. If you ever got down just get Mel around and you'd be fine."
Police are investigating to determine what caused the crash.
Visitation for Melanie and Aaron will be Tuesday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. at Harre Funeral Home in Mcleansboro. Their funeral will be at 1 p.m. that day.