Wilmette Crash Kills Girl on Her Birthday

Three others taken to the hospital

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Veronica Rojas was killed in a crash on her birthday. She leaves behind a 2-year-old son. (Published Monday, Jun 28, 2010)

    A car full of friends and a birthday party fueled by alcohol left two teenaged girls dead following a crash in north suburban Wilmette early Monday morning.

    Veronica Rojas, 18, and Natalie Stygar, 17, died when the sedan they were driving crashed into a tree around 2:30 a.m.  Two other girls and the driver, a male, were taken to area hospitals.

    Rojas, a leukemia survivor, leaves behind four sisters and a 2-year-old son.

    "He was her world.  She got up every day.  She did everything for him.  She was always taking him to the park, the zoo, Shedd Aquarium," said Rojas' mother, Deborah Echevarria.  "Even if she went across the street to the store, she always had the baby with her.  She was a good mom."

    Sunday was Rojas' 18th birthday, her mother said.  She was out celebrating with friends.

    But when her daughter hadn't gotten home by early Monday morning, Echevarria said she began calling Stygar's cell phone and got no answer.

    Police came and gave her the bad news at about noon, she said. 

    Echevarria said police haven't told her much about the crash, which took out a fire hydrant and a tree, but did say alcohol was involved.

    "I'm not sure how much, who drank what and what.  My daughter really wasn't a drinker.  She probably drank a little bit to celebrate her birthday," Echevarria said.

    Stygar's parents were not available, and the woman who answered at her home would not comment. 

    Authorities continue to investigate the crash.  Charges could be filed.