Zachary Behrens, 17, killed after car plunges into Ottawa quarry

Zachary Behrens, 17. (LaSalle-Peru High School)

Autopsy and toxicology results are pending in the death of Zachary Behrens, 17, after the car he was driving went over a cliff and dropped 60-70 feet into a quarry in Ottawa.

Witnesses told police they saw a 2008 Chevrolet sedan blow through the intersection of West Main Street and Boyce Memorial Drive, travel down a gravel road, through a fence and over an embankment that is about the height of a pickup truck.

"Everyone pretty much tells us the same story," LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton said. "The car was going at a high rate of speed."

Police said the car plunged into a deep pit filled with water and sand at the U.S. Silica Sand Plant around 7 p.m. Monday and came to rest on its roof.

Crews from several departments spent hours navigating the cliff to safely recover Behrens' body and pull the vehicle from the quarry. The car was carted away around 11 p.m. Monday.

"We had to bring in some earth-moving equipment to cut into the bank so we could get the wrecker closer to the edge, so they could drop the boon down and hook onto the car," Templeton said.

Templeton said Behrens had been hanging out with friends at a house only four blocks away prior to the crash. LaSalle County sheriff's deputies are investigating the cause of accident.

Bahrens graduated from LaSalle-Peru High School in May. Counseling is available for students through the school.

Ottawa is about 50 miles west of Joliet in LaSalle County.

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