Thursday, March 25, 2010

the saddest things

1 teen killed, 2 injured on Downstate bike trip
March 25, 2010 7:51 AM | 4 Comments | UPDATED STORY
Three seniors at the University of Chicago Lab School on a spring-break bicycle trip in southern Illinois were hit by a van Wednesday, killing one of them and injuring the other two.

The dead girl was identified as Faith Dremmer, 17, of Chicago, according to Illinois State Police.

Police identified the other two girls as Julia Baird, 18, and Kaia Tammen, 18, both of Chicago.

A wall entry posted March 21 on a Facebook page apparently belonging to Baird reads "3 friends, 3 bikes, 500 miles, let's do this."

The incident happened about 2 p.m. at Shawneetown/New Haven Road and Ponds Settlement Road just north of Shawneetown, police said.

A minivan headed south on Shawneetown/New Haven and driven by an 86-year-old man crossed the center line and hit all three of teens as they rode in the opposite direction.

Dremmer was taken to a local hospital, where she was prononunced dead, police said. Baird was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Evansville, Ind., while Tammen was intially taken to a local medical center, then transferred to another hospital also in Evansville.

The driver of the van, an Enfield, Ill., man, was not injured. Police are still investigating the incident.

Tammen's father Bruce said the three teens had been planning the trip for months. They left on Saturday following a daily routine: Baird's father drove in the area in his car carrying their gear; after they finished riding for the day, he caught up with them and they set up camp for the night.

Bruce Tammen said he had spoken with Baird's father once since the crash, but it was unclear where he was when the incident happened.

Kaia Tammen went through 4½ hours of surgery Wednesday at the Indiana hospital and was scheduled to undergo more this morning. She suffered significant injuries to her head. This morning, she was "conscious enough to sort of flutter her eyelids and lift her fingers," her father said.

Baird, Tammen said, suffered a broken collar bone and broken ribs. All three girls were wearing helmets.

The trip was meticulously planned, and was organized by Baird and her father to celebrate the teens' upcoming high school graduation. Baird and Dremmer's families had been close for many years, with the teens friends "for their whole lives," Bruce Tammen said. Kaia Tammen met the other two girls at the lab school in 7th grade.

"They were having a great time," he said, voice cracking.

-- Andrew L. Wang and Pat Curry

* link = HERE.

accident? NO!
Negligence? YES!

Drivers need to aknowledge the difference,
and seriously own up to their responsiblity.
I guess writing things off as accident lets you
shrug off the guilt of taking a life.

I question what they'll actually charge him with.

"it's ok, here's your license. Just try and keep
it between the yellow lines more."

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