Four teens from Wilmington High School were killed today when their car crashed in Will County, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the car ran off the road late last night and plunged into Forked Creek near Ballou Road. The car was found at about 7:30 this morning. Two boys and two girls were killed in the crash. All of the victims were between the ages of 15 and 17.
Michael Sembac, the father of one of 15-year-old Micalah Sembach who was killed in the crash, said: “She was a great kid … I don’t know what else to say right now. She was in band. She came home on time. She was a great kid.”
Will County Sheriff’s spokesman Ken Kaupas said that the vehicle was spotted in the creek by a bus driver this morning. A tow truck was called to pull the car from the water, and officials worked to remove the bodies from the wreck.
Kaupas said, “It’s a real tragedy for this community.”
The cause of the crash is not known at this time, but local reports say that there was standing water and possibly ice on the road last night. A guard rail on the south side of Ballou Road was knocked down during the crash.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that teen deaths in car crashes have drastically decreased since the 1970s (there were close to 9,000 teen deaths in 1975 and only 3,000 in 2010) but said that the accident rate for teens is about three times higher than for older drivers.
Police are currently investigating the cause of the accident in Will County.