Community comes together after teen dies in car accident

FORRESTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Forreston community is reacting to the news of losing a 16-year-old to a car accident.

The village of fewer than 2,000 people is now reacting to the death of Drew Crase who was killed in a car accident early Monday morning.

"We all band together when it comes football season. We're all big football fans. We all support each other and go to local gas stations and support them," says Forreston resident Valerie Huenefeld.

She says the way people unite during times of tragedy always moves her.

"You get a calm, but it's not a peaceful calm. It's kind of that, okay everybody, we bond even closer, we hug each other, we smile more, we try to get the ones that are hurting to laugh a little and to realize that there's still good along with the bad," Huenefeld reflects.

Drew Crase was a student at Forreston High School. His classmates say teachers are giving them a lighter class load to help them deal with grief.

"The community is really pulling together and doing what they can to help in the time of need," says Huenefeld.

Some community members say signs around town, like this one, saying 'Cardinal Pride' are starting to take on a much deeper meaning.

"We're still Cardinal strong. We still tie together and help each other," Huenefeld

Huenfeld says they will move forward in the best way they know: small acts of kindness.

"We can also continue with just communication, a simple, 'How are you doing?' A message to the family and cards and balloons, anything. Anything to just make somebody feel better," says Huenefeld.

We reached out to Forreston High School and Crase's family. Both declined to comment.