2 South Elgin High School students killed, 3 others injured in Bartlett crash: officials

ByDiane Pathieu, Maher Kawash, John Garcia, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, September 1, 2023
2 high schoolers killed, 3 others injured in Bartlett crash: officials
Police said two South Elgin High School students were killed in a Bartlett crash near Route 25 and Kenyon Road that injured three other people.

BARTLETT, Ill. (WLS) -- Friends and classmates left flowers by a pole just steps away from the crash scene where two students lost their lives.

Just after 7 a.m. Thursday, four teenage girls were just a couple blocks away from South Elgin High School, but they never arrived.

The students were in a Honda civic when they collided with a Mack semi-truck near Route 25 and Kenyon Road. Two teenage girls were killed in the crash and two others were injured.

That crash happened just 0.4 miles away from south Elgin High School.

The principal said it's a tragedy that has shaken the community just two weeks into the school year.

"The incident happened in the intersection, however it was pushed off into the southwest corner into the cornfield," said South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District Fire Chief William J. Luchsinger. "Every accident is hard to deal, with especially one such as this."

The driver of the semi-truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The intersection shut down for hours Thursday as crews tried to clear the semi with the mangled civic on the side of the road. Luchsinger said his crews had to remove the roof from the civic so they could get to the teens inside, and three of them were unconscious when they arrived.

"Crews had to remove the roof from the car to gain access," Luchsinger said.

South Elgin High School immediately offered crisis resources on hand by filling classrooms with counselors and social workers for those who need help.

"I think you just take it one step at a time right," said South Elgin High School Principal Kurt Johansen. "We're just trying to get through the moment right now."

"Despite the fact that we are a very large school district, we seem to have that small community feel, and it took just a matter minutes today for this to unfold and then have this outpouring of support," said School District U-46 Supt. Suzanne Johnson.

School District U-46 released a statement saying, "It is with a heavy heart that we write about a loss in our South Elgin High School family. Losing a member of our school community is a tragedy, sad, and may be difficult to understand. Four South Elgin High School students were involved in a car accident this morning. According to our law enforcement, two of the students lost their lives, and one of the other students is in critical condition and is being treated at an area hospital, and the fourth student received non-life-threatening injuries. At this time, we cannot share the student's names out of respect to the families and to allow for next of kin notifications. We have school social workers and counselors available for emotional support for students, staff and families. Our thoughts, prayers, and most sincere condolences are with the families and loved ones of the students during this incredibly difficult time."

The school said all families are still being notified, so they are not releasing any information about the four students involved.

Bartlett police now investigating all the details from the accident and what led up to it.