Around this time of year, there are two kinds of teenagers in Illinois: those who are enjoying Spring Break, and those who are thinking about what their activities will be during the upcoming Spring Break. Some may leave the state for exotic (and tropical) locales, while others will stay in state to see its sights – or perhaps they will just laze around and do nothing.
But four northern Illinois teens won’t have the opportunity to have fun this Spring Break. And for their families, March of 2013 will be etched into their memories for a very different – and tragic – reason.
The Will County Coroner has identified the bodies of four Wilmington teenagers who died when the car they were in crashed into the icy Forked Creek near the city. Authorities do not know precisely when the auto accident occurred, but the boys were reported missing Monday night. From the evidence at the scene, the Will County Sheriff’s Department believes that the driver lost control on a patch of wet or icy road, and the car skidded over the side of a bridge and into the creek. The bodies of two 15-year old boys, a 14-year old boy, and a 17-year old boy were discovered on Tuesday.
Officials have not yet determined who was driving the vehicle, although the car was registered in the name of the oldest teen. This is important, because the parents of the passengers could file wrongful death lawsuits against the parents of the driver (because all of the victims are minors). Thee suits could allow the plaintiffs to receive reimbursement for burial expenses and monetary damages for loss of companionship and mental anguish. But they also could be awarded compensation for the estimated future wages that the boys would have earned in their adult lifetimes had the crash never taken place.