South Elgin

Officials reveal cause of crash that killed 2 South Elgin High School students

The crash between the 2002 Honda Civic and a Mack semi-tractor trailer happened around 7 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of IL Route 25 and Kenyon Road

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Officials say a preliminary investigation has determined the cause of a deadly crash that killed two South Elgin high school students, wounded two others and left a third person injured last week.

According to the Bartlett Police Department, authorities believe the driver of a Honda Civic carrying the four teen students "failed to yield turning left" at a green light.

The crash between the 2002 Honda Civic and a Mack semi-tractor trailer happened around 7 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of IL Route 25 and Kenyon Road.

Police said the Honda Civic was traveling northbound on IL Route 25 when it began to turn left onto Kenyon Drive and was struck by the semi, which was traveling southbound on IL Route 25.

The crash left one passenger in the Honda Civic dead at the scene. Another teen passenger was taken to an area hospital where she later died. They were identified as 16-year-old Tahlulay Henry, of Elgin, and 17-year-old Kamorra Campbell, of Bartlett, according to the Kane County Coroner's office.

According to the coroner, the preliminary cause of death for both victims is listed as multiple injuries due to motor vehicle collision.

A third passenger with life-threatening injuries was transported to an area hospital and later airlifted to another facility. School District U-46 said in a statement Friday that Elizabeth Esparza was hospitalized in stable condition.

The drivers of both vehicles suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to area hospitals, authorities said.

“It is with heavy hearts that the entire Bartlett community mourns with the family and friends of the South Elgin High School students involved in Thursday’s tragic car crash,” Village of Bartlett President Kevin Wallace said in a statement issued Friday. “Words cannot capture the pain of losing two young women far too soon. Though their lives were short, there is no doubt that they brought love and joy to those they touched, teachers, classmates, friends, and family, and that they will be forever remembered. We also extend our support to the two young women and the truck driver who experienced the trauma of this accident. We wish them comfort and healing during this sad time. On behalf of the village and the trustees, I send our heartfelt thoughts and our deepest condolences.”

The district said crisis teams remained activated, explaining that grief and loss social workers and counselors will be at the school to help students and staff for as long as needed.

“We’re just trying to get through the moment right now, and we’ll try to get through the day, and then we’ll try to get through tomorrow. And we’ll just take it one day at a time," South Elgin Principal Kurt Johansen said Thursday.

A press release from the South Elgin & Countryside Fire Department stated that crews needed to removed the roof to the Honda Civic in order to gain access to the car's four occupants, all of whom were South Elgin High School students.

Photos and video from the scene showed a heavy police and emergency presence from Elgin, Fox River, Geneva, Carol Stream, St. Charles and more, along with roads closed and traffic backed up as officials worked to investigate.

"Every accident is hard to deal with and especially ones such as this," said William Luchsinger, fire chief for South Elgin and Countryside.

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