Fatal Early Morning Car Accident In Jefferson County, Illinois

There was a fatal Southern Illinois car accident early Saturday morning (January 18, 2014) in Jefferson County.

According to Illinois State Police (ISP) the car accident happened when a Jeep – driven by Nicholas W. Rakas, 19, of Benton – was traveling south along Illinois 37.   As the Jeep was just north of East Adams Road, for an unknown reason the Jeep crossed the centerline, struck a guide rail, and then rolled into an icy creek bed, coming to rest on its top.

Although Rakas was able to escape from the vehicle and summon help, dive teams were unable to rescue the two other people in the Jeep, identified as Rakas’s aunt and nephew – Melanie May, 34, and Aaron May, 9, both of Benton, Illinois.

Rakas was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Additional details can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Mt. Vernon Register-News article of January 19, 2014 titled “Two Benton residents die in vehicle crash” as well as the WFIW Radio headline of January 20.


Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC concentrates in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases involving vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, bike, bus, pedestrian, truck, etc.) This intense focus allows us to consistently achieve winning verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Should you be involved in a car accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights.  You should not assume – especially without proper legal representation – that you will receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, hardships and/or losses.  To speak directly with a trial lawyer from Elman Joseph Law Group immediately, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  There is no fee for this consultation.

Scroll to Top