Two Teenagers Killed and Two Injured in Joliet Crash

WILL COUNTY, IL- reports that an early morning crash on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, killed two teens and injured two more. The driver, 18-year-old Eric Zielinski, andHeather Sturwold, who was in the back seat of the vehicle, died in the collision. Both teens graduated from Lincoln-Way West High School in 2018.

Zielinski reportedly died at the scene of the crash while Sturwold was taken to the Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. Sturwold was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police were called to the site of thecrash at about 3:57 a.m. The vehicle, a red Honda CRV, had veered off of Briggs Street and struck a tree. There were two other teens in the vehicle,ages 17 and 19. Both of the other victims are in critical condition. One of the teens was flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

The investigation is ongoing, and it is not yet known whether the accident was the result of speeding or if there were other causes for the crash.

Residents who live near the intersection report being awoken by the sound of the vehicle striking the tree. One woman said she heard the bang at about 2:52 a.m. By 4 a.m. she said she heard the sound of police vehicles, ambulances, andfire trucks.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 20 percent of all car accident deaths are the result of vehicles striking fixed objects along the side of the road. In 48 percent of fixed object accidents, drivers strike trees. Other commonly hit objects include traffic barriers and utility poles.

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