Sherrard student dies in crash

Sherrard student dies in crash

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A Sherrard High School student was killed in a two-car crash Sunday north of Preemption, Ill., and a Milan woman is in critical condition at a Peoria hospital.

Dylan Hofmann, 18, of Sherrard, was a passenger in a 1996 four-door Infiniti that was struck at the intersection of 176th Avenue and U.S. 67. Hofmann later died at a local hospital.

Kevin Williams, 16, of Matherville — also a student at Sherrard and the driver of the vehicle —  was transported to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill., for treatment, Capt. William Kauzlarich, of the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department, said. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition Monday.

Also injured in the crash were Byron and Linda Wakefield, 75 and 72, respectively of Milan, Kauzlarich said. Byron was the driver of a 2008 Kia four-door and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, His wife was transported to St. Francis, where she was listed in critical condition Monday.

Kauzlarich said the crash was reported at 5:36 p.m. He said Williams and Hofmann were eastbound on 176th Avenue and the Wakefields were northbound on U.S. 67 whenthe crash occurred.

A witness following the Infiniti said the vehicle failed to stop at the marked intersection and was struck on the passenger side by the Kia, a sheriff’s department news release stated. Both vehicles left the road on the northeast side of the intersection where the Infiniti overturned onto its roof.

The news release said Williams suffered a fractured skull and ribs, Linda Wakefield had an open fracture to an ankle and internal injuries, and Byron Wakefield suffered external bruising and a laceration to his right arm. All three were transported to Trinity Rock Island before Linda Wakefield and Williams were transported to Peoria.

Hoffman was transported to Genesis Hospital, Illini Campus, in Silvis, where he died from his injuries.

The St. Ambrose University junior varsity football team and coaching staff, returning from a game in Monmouth, Ill., were among the first on the scene following the accident. An athletic trainer and assistant football coaches assisted at the scene.

“It couldn’t have happened more than a minute or so before we arrived,’’ said Pat Rotchford, a St. Ambrose assistant. “There was only one car that had stopped when we pulled up. We saw that one car had flipped over and was in the ditch. It was obvious it was a serious situation that had to have just occurred.’’

Johnnie James, a St. Ambrose athletic trainer who accompanied the Bees to their game against Monmouth College, went to the scene as did several members of the coaching staff.

“Our trainer assessed the situation and helped as much as he could until the paramedics arrived. They were on the scene within five minutes,’’ Rotchford said. “There were four people hurt and in need of assistance. The coaches, we did the best we could to help.’’

Rotchford said St. Ambrose athletes remained on the bus until the highway was reopened to traffic.

“It was an unfortunate situation,’’ Rotchford said. “We had talked to our team before the game at Monmouth about not taking things for granted. On the way home, we saw a real-life situation that pounded that point home.’’

Rotchford said coaches talked to the team about that as they returned to campus.

“When you stumble onto a situation like that, it puts things into perspective,’’ Rotchford said.

A Sherrard school district official said all of the district’s counselors were at the high school Monday providing grief counseling for students. 

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