A 15-year-old girl died early Tuesday morning from internal injuries sustained in a Grayslake car crash.
Taylor Mae Stinchcomb, a student at Warren Township High School, had become upset when her family began talking about putting her dog to sleep. The dog, which Taylor had rescued from a shelter only two years ago, had been diagnosed with cancer.
Taylor put the dog in her family’s minivan and took off with a friend. After driving for a while, Taylor became too upset to drive and asked her friend to take over. At about 12:45 a.m. on Almond Road, the girl lost control of the car, which left the road and slammed into several trees and a utility pole.
A witness to the crash stopped and called 911 on a cell phone.
Taylor, who had apparently not been wearing a seat belt, was trapped inside the crumpled car and had to be removed by rescue workers. She was alive and talking at the scene but died later at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
The distraught driver of the 2003 Dodge minivan was treated at the scene and released. She had been wearing a seat belt.
Taylor’s dog was thrown from the car and died.
Authorities do not believe that drugs and alcohol were involved, but speed may have been a factor in the crash. Investigators estimate that the driver was going about 60 miles per hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone.
Accidents are not unheard of along the hilly section of road where the crash occurred. According to Lake County Undersheriff Charles Fagan, “It’s one of those notorious areas of the county where we have a lot of accidents.”
Both girls, being 15 years old, were not old enough to have driver’s licenses.
Jeff Brierton, principal of Warren Township High School, said that Taylor had been “a good student and a great kid…She was a good softball player.” She played on the Warren High Blue Devils softball team.
We mourn the loss of this promising young woman and send our condolences to her family and friends.