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Driver in Tuesday Night Crash Dies

Officials at the DuPage County Coroner's Office confirmed that Jennifer VanEtten, 16, of Big Rock, died at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials in the DuPage County Coroner’s Office have confirmed that Jennifer VanEtten, the 16-year-old driver of the minivan in , died Wednesday afternoon.

Vanetten died at 12:30 p.m. at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, officials said. A cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the coroner’s office, and the investigation is ongoing.

The confirmed her death Thursday morning. Police released information Wednesday afternoon that at the hospital.

VanEtten, of Big Rock, was driving a 1994 Chevrolet Astrovan north on Orchard Road at the Route 30 intersection around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday when a semi truck owned by ABF Freight System Inc. of Aurora turned left from the southbound lane, striking the minivan head on, police said.

A Lifestar helicopter transported VanEtten to Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday night, police said. Two passengers in the van—Sheryl VanEtten, 38, of Big Rock, and a 13-year-old girl—were taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, where they were treated for minor injuries and released, police said. 

The driver of the semi truck declined medical treatment at the scene, Oswego Fire Protection District officials said.

A family pet, a black and brown German shepherd, ran from inside the van after the crash. (UPDATE: The dog was found Thursday. The post on Lost Dogs Illinois is here.)

The accident remains under investigation by Montgomery police, and anyone with information should call the investigations tip line at 630-879-8707, ext. 3300. 

Ericha Olalde May 10, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Jenny you will always have a place in our hearts! Me and Joves are going to miss you with all our hearts!
james May 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Why does it always seem like when a big truck is involved in a crash it always worded or said in a way that makes it the trucks fault when the accident report and or investigation has not been completed or released by the authorities
Andre Salles May 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Hi James. This is exactly the way the press release from the police department is worded: "A 1994 Chevrolet Astrovan driven by 16 year old female was traveling northbound on Orchard Road in the intersection Route 30 when a semi-truck tractor owned by ABF Freight System Inc., turned in front of the Astrovan striking it head on."
Annemarie May 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM
At this point who cares who fault it is. A sweet young lady was taken way to soon! May God be with her family during this time!
cathy marlatt May 11, 2012 at 01:31 AM
thank you Annamarie for what you wrote, i am her aunt and Jenny was a very special young lady and we are not so sure how to go on without her. My husband (her uncle) is also a truck driver so i can't even imagine what that man is going through knowing that she died. My heart goes out to him too even while my heart is breaking over the loss of my neice. She was a sewwt and talented girl and is missed terribly. again, thank you for your comment
Shaun Simmons May 11, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I agree AnnMarie. Cathy and the rest of Jenny's family, my heartfelt sympathies! I was at the scene shortly after the accident as i live just a stones throw away and couldn't get through. I can't stop thinking about any of it! My heart aches for you! I truly hope her mother Sherry finds the comfort and strength in her family and friends to carry foward, i cam't imagine the grief! May God be with you all! Praying for all who were touched by this!
Erin W May 11, 2012 at 02:43 AM
R.I.P. didn't know who she was, but no mother or father should have to bury their child!
Jake J May 11, 2012 at 02:52 AM
The dog was returned today. Small compensation to the family who has lost an integral part to their family. The focus shouldn't be who is to blame but on the life that was cut short at 16. Not sure why people are focused on that aspect of this story.
Amy Giomi-Bingenheimer May 11, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Is there a memorial fund? Sympathies to the family.
Heidi May 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Amy... yes there is a memorial for Jenny to help with the funeral expenses. BMO Harris Bank 2005 W Rt. 34 Plano, IL Payable to: Jenny Van Etten Memorial Fund Jenny will truly be missed and remembered forever!
Heidi May 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM
The VanEtten family is holding a spaghetti fundraiser on May 23 to help offset Jennifer’s funeral costs. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion in Plano, 510 E. Dearborn St. Donations will go directly to the family. A memorial service is being planned for May 20.
Andre Salles May 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Thank you, Heidi!
Heidi May 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Your very welcome. It is the least that I could do for this family.
cathy marlatt May 11, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Thank you all for your kind words, the grief is almost too muct to have to deal with. she was a special young lady and is missed by ALOT of people. Our family thanks all of you.
Kim May 12, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I have a special prayer time on my way to work each day. I will include this family in my prayers. God Bless everyone touched by this young girl.
Pamela Petty May 14, 2012 at 10:37 AM
I have been reading all this since I seen the accident on the way to taking my Husband to work. What everyone has post here is I suppose what the public does and how they react to things that doesnt involve them. Everyone has lost sight in the fact that it doesnt matter whos fault it is, all that matters is there was a Horrible accident and a Life was lost as a result. No fight , no discussion, no amount of Money can bring this Young Lady back. She now walks with the Angels. I will not even try to go into the idea that God calls us home in Our time, and in his manner, as I have grown to see Alot of people are lost to that beleif. My Prayers go out to ALL INVOLVED in this horrific time. And know this if you know nothing else. Accidents are called accidents because thats what they are ACCIDENTS. and the he said she said will never change that. Walk in gods light, and know hes with you, as are my prayers.
Eric May 16, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Pamela, Just a small thought, why are you reading and posting things while you are driving? Lets be more careful than that please so other accidents are avoided.
Pamela Petty May 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM
My post was days after the accident, Just goes to show you some readers read out of context and shouldnt post if they have no clue on what they are talking about.
jessica November 13, 2012 at 05:08 PM
im was jenny best friend and she was really nice and she always had a smile on her face even if she was mad at you \ WE MISS YOU JENNY AND WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH always Jessica Miles

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