BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — The hallways at Limestone Community High School were quieter than normal Monday morning as students returned to school.
“We knew this would be a difficult day,” said Superintendent Allan Gresham. “Students are more quiet and somber in the hallways.”
This follows Sunday morning’s deadly crash on Pfeiffer Road in Bartonville, which killed Limestone student Mia Dusek.
Gresham said first thing in the morning, he went on the morning announcements to address the tragedy.
“I just let our students know how special each and every one of them are to us,” he said.
Just after midnight, a car with four teenagers inside crashed into the rural hillside on Pfeiffer Road. The other three students were transported to OSF with non-life-threatening injuries.
Dusek was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver was cited for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Sunday evening and into the night, according to neighbor Sandy Beckman, cars stopped at the place where Dusek’s body was found. A shrine formed with a cross and candles, flowers, a basketball, a baseball cap, and much more.
“They were just constantly coming and going,” Beckman said. “Then last night, they lit off these huge balloons with lights in them.”
Beckman said the number of cars and pedestrians just off the hill where the crash occurred worried her, so she asked law enforcement to keep an eye on the road.
“I was afraid that someone would get hit crossing the road, there were so many of them, that I did call the county… and an officer did come and sat at the top of the hill for a long time,” she said.
Superintendent Gresham said many students did not show up for school today, especially if they were close to those involved in the tragedy. Students continued to come to the makeshift shrine to leave gifts, write messages, and sit in the space.
At Limestone Community High School, supportive services and counseling services are available for all students and staff.
“For our students, we have our library open, with supportive counseling services there for them throughout the school day, as well as this afternoon,” Gresham said.
He said the library counseling services will remain open from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for students who may not be in school today or who may want to wait until the school day is over.
Gresham said lines of communication with Dusek’s family are open, and he said the school is ready to help them in whatever way it can.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family offset funeral costs.