2 teens die in Antioch crash: 'I just saw headlights spin'

Two teenagers were killed when their SUV crashed into a tree in Antioch in heavy rain, authorities said.

Joel Wittkamp, 16, and Ashley Seay, 17, were traveling west when their Chevrolet Trailblazer left the road in the 27000 block of Wilmot Road around 7 p.m. Monday, according to the Lake County sheriff's office. The SUV went through a yard before hitting the tree, the office said.

Both teens died on the scene. Joel, who was driving, was from Antioch and Ashley was from Lindenhurst, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

Authorities said they believe weather contributed to the crash. A man who lives where the crash occurred said it was raining hard when the accident occurred.

"It was pouring," said Tim Staples.

Staples said he was home when "I just saw the headlights spin ... We ran out and you could see the car was in the tree, the tree was on the car ... a mangled car I couldn't recognize."

"We checked the scene," he said. "We had flashlights and we looked inside. It didn't look promising, it looked really bad."

He said firefighters reached the scene in 7 or 8 minutes. "It took them an hour to get them out. They had to take the top of the car off."

Staples said the car hit a tree he had planted on his property 30 years ago.

Joel attended Antioch High School, officials said.

"We have counselors who are available," said Principal John Whitehurst. "Someone is following the young man’s schedule. If there were kids close to him, we are identifying who they are."

Whitehurst noted an earlier tragedy last November, when freshman Nicole Parfitt, 14, and her father were killed in a plane crash. "I know this is going to bring back some really unfortunate memories with kids intimately familiar with the incident," he said.

Ashley Seay came from a large family, with younger twin sisters and a few older siblings who have already graduated from Lakes Community High School, said Steve Plank, principal of the Lake Villa campus.

"There was a deep connection between the family, the school and community," he said.

Ashley was a cosmetology student who attended the high school until about noon, then spent her afternoons at the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus in Grayslake.

"That was a passion of hers," Plank said.

Counselors were available when classes began today, for students and staff.

"We have a number of faculty who are deeply affected by this, who have also needed support," he said. "It's kind of tough to come to school in the morning and realize there's a hole in your classroom."

At both high schools, an adult followed the schedule of Ashley and Joel, sitting in their seats for each class.

"We put an adult who is part of our human services team to sit in the seat," said Plank. "When kids show up to class and that seat is empty, it's a tough situation."


Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

You're reading an article about
2 teens die in Antioch crash: 'I just saw headlights spin'
This article
2 teens die in Antioch crash: 'I just saw headlights spin'
can be opened in url
2 teens die in Antioch crash: 'I just saw headlights spin'

Title Post: 2 teens die in Antioch crash: 'I just saw headlights spin'
Rating: 100% based on 99998 ratings. 5 user reviews.
Author: Al Jimzeera News

Thanks for visiting the blog, If any criticism and suggestions please leave a comment