Vigil for Bethalto couple, child killed in crash


BETHALTO, Ill. – A Bethalto, Illinois couple and one of their children died Friday night at a dangerous intersection in Madison County. On Sunday evening, the community turned out for a vigil in support of the Cafazza family.

John Cafazza, 55, had stopped at the intersection of Bethalto and McCoy roads in Foster Township, Illinois. He went to make a left turn in his BMW and was t-boned by a speeding 2003 GMC Sierra.

Cafazza was killed in the crash, along with his wife, 52-year-old Melissa, and their 12-year-old son, Dominic.

A report from the Madison County Coroner’s Office says the person driving the GMC Sierra, an 18-year-old man, was taken to a St. Louis hospital. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

Hundreds of emotional community members gathered at Hauser Field on Civic Memorial High School’s campus to mourn the loss for the Cafazza family.

The Cafazzas were said to be close-knit and embedded in the community.

“We are devastated as a community, but we are going to honor their lives this evening and do our very best to lift to lift each other up because that’s what we do,” said Dr. Jill Griffin, superintendent of the Bethalto School District.”

Griffin said the three who passed will be missed but never forgotten for the imprint they left.

Meanwhile, the Cafazzas had three other boys who are now left without their parents. Griffin said whatever support they need, the community will be there.

“We come together in crisis and Eagle Nation will show up for Cafazza family, I have no doubt about it, and we’ll wrap our arms around them in their hour of need,” she said.

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