After Downers Grove Student Hit By Car Passes Away, Memorial at Crash Site Taken Down - NBC Chicago

After Downers Grove Student Hit By Car Passes Away, Memorial at Crash Site Taken Down

A 51-year-old Naperville man has been charged with felony aggravated DUI in the crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Community Comes Together After Student Hit by Car

    A suburban community is pulling together after a terrible tragedy, as a Downers Grove North High School student was struck by a car near the school's campus. NBC 5's Michelle Relerford reports. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 22, 2019)

    A high school volleyball player who was hit by a car just outside her school last week has passed away, school officials confirmed. 

    Beth Dunlap, a junior at Downers Grove North High School, passed away days after she was hit by a vehicle while crossing a street outside the west suburban school. 

    A 51-year-old Naperville man has been charged with felony aggravated DUI in the crash. 

    Dunlap was struck by a car while crossing Main Street outside the school around 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement issued by DuPage County police. The teen was within a marked crosswalk and had a "walk" signal, according to police, when a vehicle allegedly crossed into the oncoming lanes and entered the intersection on a red light, police said. 

    "Those who know Beth know that she was a fierce competitor and a strong person," Principal Janice Schwarze said in a school announcement last week. "As hard as this loss is for all of us, I believe that she would want us to be strong and take care of each other. In fact, Beth’s family has ensured that she will take care of others by donating her organs. While this tragedy has forever changed the lives of many in our community, the lives of other people have new hope because of Beth." 

    A memorial in her honor sprouted over the weekend at the crosswalk on Main Street where the crash happened, but Schwarze said that memorial was taken down.

    "The Dunlap family has indicated the crash site does not represent who Beth was, and they would prefer we celebrate her life," Schwarze said.

    Schwarze said flowers and other memorials would be moved to Prince Street Circle Monday morning.

    "While we do not typically allow memorials for students on campus, because this tragedy happened here at school, we are making an exception," she told students. "We believe this new location better represents Beth’s life because it is our Athletic Entrance. It is also more private and is safer than the original site. We will keep this memorial in place until Saturday afternoon." 

    Dunlap was a volleyball player who wore the number 18. Last week, school officials encouraged students to celebrate her life by doing "18 things for number 18." 

    "Consider doing something positive in regards to this number in her honor," Schwarze said. "For example, you might perform 18 random acts of kindness. You might donate $18 to a charity. Do what feels right." 

    The school also held a moment of silence for 18 seconds. 

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