Crash Kills Two Teens
By: Arnold Wyrick
DU QUOIN, Il. - It was supposed to be a fun night out at the Du Quoin State Fair for four young men from Du Quoin, Illinois. But, it all ended tragically when the car they were all riding in skidded out of control and flipped down a steep embankment in Franklin County.
The crash happened shortly after 7pm Sunday on the Orient Blacktop road.
Jeremy Stowers, 19, his 17-year-old brother Joel Stowers and 18-year-old Jackson Simmons along with 20-year-old Twan Woods were in the Cadillac when Jeremy lost control of the car.
Joel Stowers died at the scene, so did Jackson Simmons. Jeremy was air-lifted to Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. Twan was flown to Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis.
As classes got underway Tuesday after the long Labor Day weekend, many of Joel's classmate spent their morning hours memorializing him with flowers, thoughts and prayers posted on his school locker.
"He just moved back here from California. He never had anything in his whole life. He lost his mom when we was only 9 years old. And he'd just got paid from his job, he was with his older brother and in a new Cadillac. It was the happiest day of his life. And it was just a tragic accident," said James Hawkins, Joel's cousin in Du Quoin.
Many of Jackson's former classmates at Du Quoin High School recall some of the good times they had together during his senior year.
"One time he threw one of my shoes out the window as we were driving down the road, and I made him go back and get it. He was really cool. I just can't believe it's real. I can't believe it really happened. It's tearing everybody up pretty bad," said Chelse McManus of Du Quoin.
Funeral services have been made for both young men.
Jackson Simmons' services will be held at the Searby Funeral Home beginning at 10 a.m. on September 10th.
Joel Stowers' services will be held at 9am September 11 at the Sunset Cemetery in Du Quoin with graveside services to follow the visitation.