UPDATED 05/17/11 7:16 p.m.
BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP, KANE COUNTY, Ill. (CBS) — Just as the school year winds down, one Batavia High School student is dead and another is in critical condition following a crash in unincorporated Kane County.
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Around 8:30 p.m. Monday, a serious traffic accident brought Kane County sheriff’s deputies and Elburn fire crews to Green Road south of Hughes Road in unincorporated Blackberry Township.
A car had gone off the road and slammed against a tree in front of 0-S-710 Green Rd., according to the Kane County Sheriff’s office.
The 1989 Dodge four-door had been headed north on Green Road near Clover Hill Road, and left the roadway near a curve. The car crossed into the southbound lane of traffic, left the road, and hit the tree, according to the sheriff’s office.
The driver of the car, Lynlee Gilbert, 17, was pronounced dead at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva. A passenger, Sarah Ginter, 18, was last reported in critical condition at Delnor.
Both Gilbert and Ginter are seniors Batavia High School.
One of Gilbert’s friends is struggling with the sudden loss, CBS 2’s Suzanne LeMignot reports.
“I was just talking with her yesterday, during school hours and it’s hard to believe that she’s gone.” said Kassandra Morfin. “It hasn’t hit me that she’s gone.”
“She could always make me laugh, in class and even if I was having a terrible day, she could always make me smile. She was great. I’ll always remember her. I’ll never forget her.”
Morfin is now praying that Ginter can recover from her injuries.
“I hope she gets better. We need her. We all need her to be OK.”
Extremely deep skid marks in the soil and tire tread marks on the road show how Gilbert swerved off course.
The area was littered with shattered glass.
Orange spray paint showed the work of police re-creating the accident.
A memorial with flowers, a stuffed animal, hubcap, license plate and a picture mark the scene of the tragedy.
Associate Superintendent of Schools Greg Romaneck said notice of the deadly accident was sent out to all students.
“In this day of social networking, many of the kids already know this information, but we have no predictability as to who knows what, so then the teachers will share that information,” Romaneck said.
Counselors went from classroom to classroom, trying to comfort students.
“It’s an emotional day,” Romaneck said. “There’s no question about it. The loss of any person, diminishes everyone. It’s a somber day.”
Graduation at the school is June 3. The last day for freshmen, sophomores and juniors is June 13.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.