Local couple dies in car crash; leave behind 9 children

By Maggie Vespa
By Corey Spencer

October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM CDT

RURAL CHENOA, Ill. -- A local couple is dead following a Sunday night crash in rural McLean County. They leave behind nine children.

Area police are working to determine what caused that crash, especially since it was a route the couple knew well.

Sunday night, Eldon and Stephanie Kaeb were headed to Wisconsin to pick up supplies for their farm.

The McLean County Coroner says it's a trip they made almost weekly.

Shortly after 9 p.m. the Kaebs, having just left a family gathering, were headed northbound on 3360 East, or Weston Blacktop, preparing to cross Route 24.

At the same time, a semi tractor trailer was approaching that intersection, heading West on 24 toward Chenoa.

Police say it was the Kaebs who, on that dark stretch of road, apparently missed a stop sign.

"There were skid marks at the scene. They apparently did see the stop sign too late, and were not able to stop," said Trooper Dustin Pierce of Illinois State Police, district 8. "They went underneath the semi and caused the back two axles of the semi trailer to go over the back two axles of the vehicle they were driving."

Eldon and Stephanie Kaeb, 52 and 45 years old respectively, died in the wreck.

A Tuesday autopsy showed that both Eldon and Stephanie Kaeb died of multiple blunt force injuries.

Meantime, their nine children, who range in age from early 20's to about six, are being cared for by other family members.