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Coroner identifies 4 Ill. teens killed in crash

CHICAGO – A coroner has identified the four high school students killed when their car skidded off a bridge into an icy creek in rural northern Illinois.

Will County Coroner Patrick O'Neil said 14-year-old Matthew Bailey, 15-year-old Cody Carter, 17-year-old Cheyenne Fender and 15-year-old Micalah Sembach died in the accident. O'Neil said all four teenagers were from Wilmington, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

The coroner said the students were in a car registered to Fender. Authorities are still investigating who was driving.

The Will County Sheriff's Department said the bodies were recovered Tuesday from Forked Creek near Wilmington. Officials said the teens had been missing since Monday evening. Authorities don't know exactly when the accident occurred.

Authorities said the driver likely lost control after hitting a patch of water or ice.

The mayor of Wilmington says the deaths of four high school students whose car skidded off a bridge into an icy creek are a "tragic loss."

Wilmington Mayor Marty Orr says residents have dealt with tragedy before, but not "at this magnitude." Police say the high school students' car was found in the creek Tuesday morning just outside Wilmington. They had been missing since Monday.

Wilmington School District Superintendent Jay Plese (PLEE' see) confirmed the two female and two male victims were Wilmington High School students. He says the district is "deeply saddened" and he has a "heavy heart." The mayor says members of the rural northern Illinois community will "lean on one another."


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