The Ogle County coroner identified the two 16-year-old victims as Seth Egger, of Montgomery, and Allison Bradford, of Aurora.
Illinois State Police said they were on their way to a sectional high school basketball game between the ACC Chargers and Marengo in Rochelle. The crash occurred just before 6 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Route 38 and Dement Road.
Police are investigating the cause of the accident. A fog advisory was in effect in the area at the time of the crash.
A 2005 White Acura SUV carrying six students struck a semi driven by a 56-year-old man from Des Plaines. Two 17-year-olds and four 16-year-olds were in the Acura, driven by one of the 17-year-olds, a senior at ACC. Three others in the vehicle walked away unhurt.
Police say the Acura ran a red light going westbound on Rt. 38 and hit the semi. The teen driver was cited for running a red light.
Egger, who was in the front passenger's seat and wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Bradford was sitting in the back seat behind the driver and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Ogle County coroner. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The driver was also injured; he is in serious condition at a hospital in Rockford.
Father F. William Etheredge, the principal of Aurora Central Catholic, arrived on the scene a few minutes after the accident. He was with the students, and he made contact with all of the families about the accident, the school said.
CRASH VICTIMS REMEMBERED BY FRIENDS, FAMILY
Sophomore Ally Bradford was a three-sport athlete who had aspirations of becoming a doctor. Her friend, Seth Egger, also played sports and was known as someone who could talk to anyone. Egger and Bradford were mourned Wednesday morning at a special mass at the school, which also included their many friends from other area schools.
"I know a lot of the kids who go here, and I know what they're going through. And I just want to be here for them," said Joey Cherwin, Marmion Academy.
"I played sports against her. Just saw her the other week. And it's really hard to think that she's gone," Caity Unruh of Rosary High School said in tears.
Grief counselors were available at Aurora Central Catholic on Wednesday. Students at the school planned to wear white in solidarity on Wednesday. Friends and relatives also visited Egger's home on Wednesday.
"He was just a loveable person, very kind and warm-hearted, and had a lot of love to give," said Miranda Egger, victim's sister.
"Seth was known in this neighborhood as 'the mayor' because he just made friends wherever he went and he knew everyone in the neighborhood," said Raquel Gonzalez-Thomas, victim's aunt.
The loss for Egger's family comes after his father's death from cancer 11 years ago.
"Now he's with my dad now and that's another thing that's hard to bear is that, now they're both gone," Miranda Egger said.
"I think we're still trying to comprehend what happened, and going on from here is going to be really tough for all of us," said Jacob Bunce, a friend.
On Wednesday night, there was a moment of silence and students wrote words of condolence at the playoff basketball game between York and West Aurora. School allegiances set aside, the community was united on Wednesday night as students chanted: "Love ACC! Love ACC! Love ACC! Love ACC!"
"It's so unreal. It just hasn't hit me yet. My heart, it just feels like it's been ripped out of my chest," said Julie Pineda, victim's friend.
Julie Pruneda and Keaton Rodriguez were like sisters to Bradford, whose locker became a magnet for grief on Wednesday.
"She hasn't experienced so many things, and so young. And I just, I don't get it, and I never will," Keaton Rodriguez, victim's friend.
One of the passengers who was not injured in the crash was Liam Doyle, whose family tied a ribbon around a tree at the school on Wednesday.
Friends and fellow students also posted condolences on social media.
Pray for the boys and girls who were in the vehicle and their families. It is a rough night for the Chargers.— ACC News (@ACCNewspaper) March 11, 2015