TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Low: 53. Winds: East 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 82. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.
Storm Team 20 Chief Meteorologist
Girard Car Crash Kills Virden Father and Son
A car crash in rural Girard Tuesday night left a Virden father and his youngest son dead.
Paul Maynerich, 19, and Frank Maynerich, 60, were traveling westbound on the Farmersville Blacktop toward Ball Road just after 10:00 p.m. Police say a southbound vehicle driven by C.J. Call failed to yield at the stop sign on Ball Road and struck the Maynerichs' vehicle.
Peggy Bess was returning to Farmersville from Virden after helping Call, a family friend in his early twenties, move. She added her eyewitness account to fill in the details.
As Call and two friends approached the Farmersville Blacktop from Ball Road, Bess was driving behind him with Call's girlfriend and her two-year-old son.
"I seen C.J. brake, but it didn't look like he stopped," Bess said, "and I looked at (Call's girlfriend); I said, 'this is no good.' And she yelled 'no baby, no!' and there was just a big, bright flash, and then it was just pure dark."
The flash was from the collision with the Maynerich's, who were returning from Edwardsville, where they had been looking into a job for Paul for when he returned to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for his junior year.
"I didn't even see the other car," Bess said. "And it happened - it was that fast."
Down the road about 100 yards, Beverly Ruyle and her husband heard the impact.
"We thought it was thunder because it had been overcast," Ruyle said. "Then we looked out the windows, and we looked in the direction. There was no lights. So we didn't even think about an accident."
Members of the Maynerich family declined to speakon camera, but as a deacon at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Chatham, Frank Maynerich was respected within the Catholic community.
"Frank Maynerich, if you wanted to boil it down to one thing," said his friend and fellow deacon, Patrick O'Toole, "you'd say he was a family man - very simple, very humble. His family meant everything to him."
Frank Maynerich had six other children, aged 26 to 37, who were not in the vehicle.
Neither Call or his passengers suffered life threatening injuries, but Bess said the accident weighs upon him.
"C.J. is very remorseful," Bess said. "He's going through a hard - he's struggling right now, and we're sorry for the other family."
The sheriff's office said charges are pending, but alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.