Victim identified in fatal crash involving McDonough Co. sheriff’s deputy

James Mellenthin
James Mellenthin(WGEM)
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:51 AM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - The driver of the vehicle involved in a fatal collision on Jan. 27 with a McDonough County sheriff’s deputy has been identified as James Mellenthin, 35, of Cottage Hills, Illinois.

Mellenthin, 35, was traveling south on U.S. Route 67 when his vehicle left the road and crashed approximately five miles north of Industry, according to his family members.

Mellenthin’s stepfather, David Kirk, visited the crash site Friday along with his daughter Lizz. Kirk declined to comment further about the collision.

According to an obituary posted online Tuesday at, Mellenthin was born Oct. 20, 1987, in Wood River, Illinois. He was the son of James Mellenthin of East Alton and Tammy (Lewis) Mellenthin of Cottage Hills. He had been employed as a floor covering installer specialist.

McDonough County Coroner Eric Jameson completed his autopsy Monday, Jan. 30.

State Police did issue a statement last week that read, “On Friday, January 27, 2023, at approximately 9:37 p.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were requested by the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office to investigate a fatal traffic crash that involved one of their deputies. To maintain the integrity of this active and ongoing investigation, no additional information will be released by ISP at this time. For additional information, please contact the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office.”

McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout has not answered calls or returned messages left by WGEM News related to the accident.

Macomb Police Department Police Chief Jerel Jones wrote in an email to WGEM News that his office “is not authorized to divulge any information relevant to the investigation, which is being handled by the Illinois State Police.”

A Celebration of Life Memorial visitation for Mellenthin is 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Marks Mortuary in Wood River.

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