4 Teens Killed When Car Plunges Into Creek

Teens were all current and former classmates at Wilmington High School

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (L to R): Cheyenne Fender, 17; Cody Carter, 15; Mathew Bailey 14; and Michaela Sembach, 15,

    Four teens were killed when their car went into a creek in Will County sometime overnight between Wilmington and Peotone, police said.

    Will County Sheriffs confirmed the bodies of Cheyenne Fender, 17; Cody Carter, 15; Mathew Bailey 14; and Michaela Sembach, 15, were in the 2011 Mitsubishi in Forked Creek along Ballou Road.

    The teens were all current and former classmates at Wilmington High School.

    "I was really shocked and I didn't really know what to think because I grew up with Cody. I was always at their house and everything. It's just a shocker," said student Corey Harper.

    Community Copes With Deaths of Four Students

    [CHI] Community Copes With Deaths of Four Students
    Bodies of the Wilmington High School teens were found in an overturned car in a creek along Ballou Road. Sandra Endo reports.

    Authorities had been searching for the teens since one family reported their child missing late Monday after the teens went out for the evening. Police were called to the creek around 7:30 a.m. after a school bus driver reported a broken guard rail and a wheel sticking out of the water.

    "We want people to know that she's a good kid," said Sembach's aunt, Melissa Robertson. "She wasn't just some brat getting in a car [and] trying to speed-race down the street. She got in the car, probably thought they were having fun."

    Will County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ken Kaupas said weather may have played a role in the crash but declined to offer an official speculation.

    "There may have been water coming over the roadway just before the bridge," he said. "We've had a tremendous amount of runoff and melting as everyone in the area has experienced, and that may have contributed to this horrific crash."

    Wilmington High School Supt. Jay Plese said the school community was "suffering at this terrible time."

    "On behalf of the Board and all School District Officials, I extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our lost three students and one former student," Plese said. "Everyone in the Wilmington school family is suffering at this terrible time. The families of the students are foremost in our thoughts and prayers."