NEAR BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-Belleville West students mourning the death of a classmate in an auto accident Saturday morning shared their grief during a candlelight vigil on the high school football field Saturday night.
Stephen Zehner, 18, was killed and Megan Webb, 15, was critically injured when the vehicle they were in ran off State Street Road and rolled over in a farm field south of the Belleville city limits.
St. Clair County Sheriff deputies are investigating the cause of the crash. It happened shortly after 2 A.M. Saturday.
Word of the vigil spread via Twitter. Three to four hundred students gathered holding flickering candles encircling more than half the football field. They praised Zehner. ” Stephen had the most amazing smile in the world and whenever he came into a room he just lit it up for everyone he was just an awesome person,” said junior Samantha Hilkey.
School interim principle Rich Mertens quoted Zehner’s welding teacher who described him as “the kind of student that made everybody in the class better because he would always give his best and he wasn’t afraid to let kids see that and it rubbed off on others.”
School District 201 Supt. Jeff Dosier said, “I just hope kids take away from this that everyday is precious that we need.. as parents we need to make sure we hug our kids and let them know how much we love them.”
Extra counselors will be on duty at the high school Monday for students and staff.
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