Annawan Man Charged in the Sepember Fatal Accident North of Annawan


The 21-year-old male from Annawan that hit 53-year-old Jeanne Johnson head-on on Highway 78 North of Annawan was charged with Aggravated DUI/Death (Class 2 Felony), plus traffic tickets.  Justin M Kirchner, 21, of Annawan was in court on October 17, 2022, for improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed and no seat belt citations.  Kirchner waived his Preliminary Hearing and Formal Arraignment and pleaded not guilty.  Kirchner was in court on November 9, 2022, for the Aggravated Driving Under the Influence causing a Death and indicated he intends to hire private counsel.   A Preliminary Hearing for the Aggravated DUI/Death is scheduled for November 28, 2022, at 1 PM.  A Class 2 Felony is punishable with 3 to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, but the charge is also probationable.  Preliminary information indicates that Kirchner had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the accident.

The accident happened on September 8, 2022, around 5 AM.  According to ISP District 7, a 2020 Silver Ford Utility was traveling southbound when the vehicle crossed into the northbound lane striking a 2009 Silver Ford Escape.  The Ford Escape entered the northbound ditch rolling multiple times. The 21-year-old male driver of the Ford Utility was uninjured.  The 50-year-old female driver of the Ford Escape was pronounced deceased on scene.

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