Carmi couple dies in car-train crash


A car-train collision has claimed the lives of a well-known Carmi couple.  Lanny Alan Stocke, 76 and his wife, Betty Ruth Stocke, 74 were killed when their pickup truck was hit by a freight train in rural Pulaski County, Illinois.

Friends said the couple were on their way to a rural location about a mile south of Ullin to look at a camper for sale when they were killed.  Illinois State Police said Lanny Stocke was driving a 2021 Ford pickup truck on U.S. 51 and started to turn onto McIntosh Lane when he entered the unguarded rail crossing. Troopers said Stocke drove directly into the path of a northbound Canadian Northern freight train. After impact, the victim's truck was pushed approximately a half mile before the train was able to stop.  Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.  An autopsy on Lanny Stocke was scheduled to be completed Thursday afternoon, February 25.

Lanny Stocke was an ordained minister and lay speaker and had operated the Sumpter Berry Farm.  Betty Stocke was a retired school teacher and was known in the area as “The Pie Lady” for the pies she often made from fruit harvested from the family farm.

Illinois State Police say their crash remains under investigation.