Man from Normal dies in rural McLean County car crash

The crash remains under investigation by the McLean County Coroner’s office and Illinois State Police. (WJBC file photo)

By Neil Doyle

TOWANDA – A local man has died after a two-vehicle crash Tuesday morning in rural Towanda.

Michael Simpsen, 50, of Normal died from extensive multiple blunt force injuries due to a pickup truck and automobile collision, reportedly sustained as the driver of the pickup truck, according to McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder.

Authorities said the crash happened around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Route 165 and North 2400 East Road.

Illinois State Police said the driver of the vehicle, a 22-year-old woman from Towanda, was issued a citation for disobeying a stop sign.

The crash remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and ISP.

Neil Doyle can be reached at


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…