Lake Sara Crash Victim Positively Identified as Wirth

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Published on February 14 2013 8:28 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

DNA testing has positively identified the victim of a crash at Lake Sara in mid-January as 35-year-old Joseph Wirth.

Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey in the days after the crash tentatively identified the victim as Wirth, a resident of the Lake Sara community.  DNA testing by the Illinois State Police Crime Lab positively identified Wirth as the victim.

The crash occurred between 1am and 1:30am on January 20.  Wirth's vehicle left North Blue Point Trail, traveled a distance before striking a tree, and burned.  The vehicle came to rest in an area where it was not immediately visible to other motorists and residents in the area.  Authorities were notified at approximately 9:30am when the burned-out vehicle was finally seen by a passing motorist.

An autopsy had already determined that injuries sustained from the crash caused Wirth's death.

A final autopsy report and toxicology test results are still pending.