Makanda Woman Finds Burned Vehicle with Body Inside

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By Evie Allen
By Andy Shostall

MAKANDA -- Police have yet to release any new information about a deadly accident in Makanda. A local woman discovered the vehicle and a person still in the driver's seat Tuesday morning.

It was just before 9:00 a.m. Tuesday  when Cathy Fulk was leaving her home on Cedar Creek Road in Makanda. At that time she noticed an unfamiliar car down an embankment.

"I thought to myself, has that always been there? I don't remember seeing that," recalls Fulk.

About two hours later, still curious, she decided to take a look.

"I just jumped in the truck and drove down and walked over to the scene and that's when I found it."

Police say the driver of a 2012 Dodge minivan, lost control around a curve, left the road and hit a tree.

The van went down the embankment and caught fire. By the time Fulk had arrived, she says the fire was out and the van was burned. When she looked inside, she describes the scene as horrific.

"The first thing I did was actually call my husband and say, yes there was a body. And he said okay, I'm on the way. I said I have to call 911. And that's when I hung up and dialed," Fulk said.

The victim was still in the driver's seat.

The speed limit on the curve is 20 miles per hour. Police have not released the cause of the accident. But Fulk says many drivers go well over the speed limit on that road. 

"Hopefully people see this road, they can see what happened, especially if they're locals and just slow down and take it easy," she says.

She says this is not the first accident along this road and it makes her uneasy.

"I have a 17-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter. And how many times in a day, in a week, do they drive the same road? And what if that would have been mine," Fulk said.

Police believe the accident happened during the overnight hours from Monday into Tuesday

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. 

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