Bethany Budwell (Pictured far right)
Bethany Budwell (Pictured far left)
Maryville, IL (KSDK) - Police are identifying the 16-year-old from Marine, Illinois who died in a crash on interstate 55/70 in Madison County.
Traffic was backed up for miles as crews worked to clear the scene at Highway 159.
Illinois State Police officials say 16-year-old Bethany Budwell of Marine was killed in the accident. She was driving a red Plymouth in the southbound lanes of 55/70 when she crossed over into the northbound lanes and struck a Honda.
The driver of the Honda was rushed to a nearby hospital in Maryville and then airlifted to St. Louis. His condition was reported to be critical.
The cause of the accident is still being investigated. No citation or criminal charges have been issued at this time.
Budwell's friends said she was a sweet, happy girl; a cheerleader and very popular. They said she had a promising future. She had just completed her sophomore year at Triad High School. In fact, Thursday was the last day of school.
Police said Budwell's vehicle had an automatic shoulder seatbelt, but she did not have the lap belt buckled.
Even though school is out for the summer, grief counselors were on hand to help students cope. Friends plan to hold a memorial service and are still finalizing the date.