Area Schools Offer Support to Vandalia Following Weekend Accident

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 19, 2019 at 8:49am

WICS TV is reporting that the Williamsville School District is doing more to show its support for the Vandalia community, following the accident over the weekend that claimed the life of a Vandaila High School Freshman with ties to Jacksonville.

The Williamsville school district announced on Monday it will donate its share of the IHSA Football Playoff profits from last Saturday’s game against Vandalia High School, and all gate receipts and donations from all of this week’s activities to the Vandalia School District.

Additionally, all staff and community members are asked to wear red and black on Tuesday.

The WCUSD #15 Unit Office is also accepting staff and public donations through Friday, Nov. 22.

Jennifer Garrison, the Vandalia Superintendent, says all the donations will be deposited to the Vandalia School Foundation and when the time is right the donations will be used for scholarships or other ideas.

Winchester Schools are wearing red and black today and collecting donations in support of the Vandalia community. Other schools showing support in various ways around central Illinois are Clinton, Ball-Chatham, Riverton, Staunton, Central A & M, Sacred Heart-Griffin, Effingham, Hillsboro, Cowden-Herrik, Pana, Nokomis, among ohters.

This morning, Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptascek sent the following email to parents in support of Vandalia:

This weekend the Vandalia community faced a tremendous tragedy with the loss of two students and two adults in a car accident as they traveled home from a playoff football game. There is a strong connection between the victims in this accident and the Jacksonville community.

In support of the Vandalia community, we are going to ask the entire district wear the Vandalia High School colors, black and red, tomorrow (Wednesday the 20th) to school.

My thoughts and prayers are for the families today.

Steve Ptacek

The generosity comes in response to the tragic accident that occurred on Saturday evening when four people were killed in a head on accident on Illinois Route 185 near Coffeen.

72 year old Jackolyn Protz and her husband 73 year old William Protz of Sullivan, and 14 year old Jenna Protz and her friend 14 year old Holly Lidy, both of Vandalia were killed when a 2016 Ford 150 driven by a 17 year old male from Harvel corssed the center line and struck the 2010 Toyota Sienna driven by Jackolyn Protz.

Jenna Protz and Holly Lidy were both both freshmen, at Vandalia high school and were traveling home from attending the class 3A football game in Williamsville.

William and Jackolyn Protz were the parents of Vandalia High School principal Randy Protz, who played football at MacMurray College in Jacksonville. Jenna Protz was Randy Protz’s daughter. Jenna Protz was also the daughter of Brenda Baptist-Protz of Springfield and formerly of Jacksonville, a professor of communications at Lincoln Land Community College.

Jenna’s stepmother, Janel Protz, is also a native of Jacksonville and 1989 graduate of JHS. Protz was also the niece of current Jacksonville Police Lieutenant Brian Baptist. Mayor Andy Ezard sent his condolences to the Protz and Baptist family on Twitter Saturday evening. Holly Lidy’s mother, Anita Lidy, is a Vandalia Elementary School speech teacher.