Tony and Karen Hable

Tony and Karen Hable

Photo courtesy of Facebook

CLINTON — Parishioners of a Clinton church shared stories Sunday of a Clinton couple killed in a two-vehicle crash Saturday evening near Clinton.

Father Jim Henning said Tony Hable and Karen Hable, both 57, were active members of St. John’s Church in Clinton.

“The entire parish is so in mourning and in shock over this accident,” Henning said. “Tony and Karen were both involved with the religious education program at the church. Karen taught first grade and Tony taught fifth and sixth. Tony was also a member of the choir and he sang at both of our weekend masses — and sang both on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. They were very important to us.”

The crash occurred just after 5 p.m. Saturday. DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice said the couple's car was traveling north on U.S. 51 when a semi loaded with grain was on Autumn Road. It crossed the northbound traffic and headed south on U.S. 51 toward Clinton. The car and the trailer of the semi collided, Rice said. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene at 5:58 p.m. The driver of the semi was not hurt, Rice said.

“Karen was involved with charity, taking home visits to the sick and things like that and just so loved,” Henning said. “We are just reeling today from this news.”

A special prayer service was held Sunday afternoon at the church.

“People just told story after story about how kind and generous they were,” Henning said. “When we had breakfast with Santa, Tony not only paid for breakfast for all of the students, in the religious education program, but also covered the cost for the sausage at the breakfast. They were just both very generous people. They embodied what it means to be charitable.”

The Hables have two adult children, Emily and Allen, Henning said. Tony was employed with Exelon.

“It’s difficult enough when one parent dies, but when both parents go suddenly, it is beyond belief and so their family is certainly in our prayers today,” he said.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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Staff Writer for The Pantagraph.