Community in Shock at Teen's Death

Complete: 6:26 pm Monday
    It's the first day back at Mahomet-Seymour High School after a student was killed in a car crash this weekend. Austin Dyson died after the van he was driving hit a tree. Two other teens in the car were also hurt.
    WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield has the latest details on the investigation. Champaign County Sheriff's say the car was going way too fast, but they don't believe alcohol was a factor. No matter what happened on that road, it was a huge loss for the community.    

    Bouquets, cards and reminders of Austin Dyson silently built around the crash site over the weekend. Today, that grief spilled into Mahomet-Seymour High.
    "A lot of emotion today, a lot of emotion."
    Principal Shannon Cheek says counselors are helping students remember their friend. But many are dealing with it on Facebook. There's a memorial page, comments from people saying goodbye and students planning ways to express their grief silently.
    "We do have a fair amount of students who are remember Austin by wearing black."
    "My interactions with him were always pretty positive. Good kid had lots of friends."
    Two of the 16-year old's friends were in the van with him Friday night. Ryan Shaffer and Terrance Washington were in the van on Golf Road as Dyson sped around a curve and crashed. Shaffer, a student at Cenntennial, is in critical condition at the Springfield Burn Center. Washington, also known as TJ, is recovering well.
    "In talking with TJ at the hospital, he mentioned wearing a seat belt and how important that was for him."
    "Our focus right now is to provide as much support as we can for our students."
    There will be a visitation for Austin tomorrow (Tuesday) and another service on Wednesday. Students and teachers will be excused from school to attend.
Lt. Ed Ogle of the Champaign County Sheriff's Office says since Austin was 16, he was only supposed to have one other teen in the car with him. That's something that's important for young drivers to remember, but at this point, the investigation is closed pending toxicology results.

Latest: 5:52 pm Monday

    A Mahomet teen killed in a car wreck this weekend is being remembered by classmates. Students at Mahomet-Seymour High School all wore black today. They're remembering Austin Dyson.
    He was driving with two other teens when they hit this tree. Dyson was killed. His friends are in the hospital; one in critical condition. Grief counselors are on hand to help students through this hard time. Principal Cheek says there have been a lot of students seeking help.

Update: 11:30 am Monday

    Classmates and relatives are coping with the loss of a 16-year old Mahomet teen. Austin Dyson was killed in an accident on Golf Drive Friday night.
    Two others were also hurt in the crash which ended in a fire. 15-year old Ryan Shaffer is in critical condition at Springfield Memorial Medical Center with burns. 16-year old Terrence Washington was taken to Carle Hospital.
    The accident is still under investigation. The community is paying respects by posting memories on Facebook. Counselors are reportedly on hand at the school to help students cope with the tragedy.

Original: 7:44 pm Saturday
    MAHOMET -- Skid marks and a scorched and splintered tree are reminders of the accident that happened Friday night.
    Champaign County Sheriff's Department says Austin Dyson, 16, and two passengers were headed down Golf Road in Mahomet when the van veered off the road and into the tree.
    Ryan Shaffer, 15, was taken to Springfield Memorial Medical Center with burns. As of Saturday evening, a nurse in the unit says he's in critical condition. Terrence Washington, 16, was taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana where he's in good condition.
    The two boys had manged to make it out of the van before it caught fire. Austin Dyson did not. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident happened a little before 9 p.m. 
    "I heard sound like a boom," says neighbor Jack Hayes.
    Hayes lives just up the street from the scene. He and his wife were watching television at the time and didn't think much of the noise.
    "You never know, back-fire, or what it is," explained Hayes. "If you were going fast and came around the curve, it seemed very easy to lose control of a car."
    Investigation into the accident is ongoing. As it continues, Dyson's family and friends are slowly coming to grips with the accident.
    Samantha Zindars went to Mahomet-Seymour High School with him.
    "He always had a smile on his face," said Zindars. She remembers him as a teen that was quick to smile. "Regardless of the situation, he always tried to cheer someone up."
    Dozens drove by to pay their respects Saturday. Those who stopped would find flowers and a single balloon tied to the pine tree. Someone had left them during the night.  

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