Updated: May 26, 2016
UPDATE: OGLE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) – A teenager charged in a deadly crash that killed a Stillman Valley cheerleader and an Amboy man pleads guilty to two counts of Reckless Homicide.
According the Ogle County State’s Attorney, the teen was sentenced to two years’ probation. Some of the conditions of the probation sentence include not operating a motor vehicle, a curfew, counseling, 200 hours of community service work (at least 40 of which must be related to education against reckless/impaired driving), and apologies to the victims’ families.
On September 4, 2015, investigators say the then 17-year-old was speeding when she blew through the stop sign on a county road near Davis Junction, slamming into a truck driven by 64-year-old Andy Conderman. The crash claimed the lives of Conderman and 17-year-old Emily Fleming.
The teen, who is now 18 years old, was charged in February as a juvenile with two counts each of Aggravated Reckless Driving and Reckless Homicide. She faced probation or time in juvenile detention until her 21st birthday.
Updated: February 16, 2016
UPDATE: OGLE COUNTY (WIFR) -- A teenager is charged with two counts each of Aggravated Reckless Driving and Reckless Homicide for a deadly crash that killed her best friend and another man. Investigators say the then 17-year-old was speeding when she blew through the stop sign on a county road near Davis Junction last September.
"This is a terrible tragedy all the way around," Ogle County State’s Attorney Eric Morrow said.
"Kids think they're invincible and they don't think this type of outcome can happen to them and unfortunately it can," Ogle County Sheriff Brian Van Vickle said.
In just a matter of seconds four lives changed forever. Now the teen behind the wheel who police say caused a crash in September is charged with the deaths of Emily Fleming, 17, and Andy Conderman, 64.
"There are consequences for decisions that are made and this is a tragic situation for all the parties involved, but we have to do our job too," Morrow said, explaining why charges were brought against the girl.
The teen, who is now 18 years old, is charged as a juvenile with two counts each of Aggravated Reckless Driving and Reckless Homicide. The Ogle County Sheriff's department says the girl was going above the posted 55 mile per hour speed limit when she missed the stop sign, slamming into Conderman's truck injuring Carly Koenig. Police say Fleming wasn't wearing a seat-belt.
The crash sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community of Stillman Valley with hundreds attending Fleming's funeral. In the five months since, many have started to heal as State Police investigators slowly reconstructed the crash scene, bogged down by other cases and budget constraints.
"To have a family out there without answers for that long is unacceptable in my mind and we've actually moved forward with developing our own accident reconstruction team so this doesn't happen in the future," Sheriff Van Vickle said.
Morrow says he hopes others learn from the situation as well.
"One bad decision from a teenage driver can lead to not only terrible things with victims, but can terribly affect their lives," he said.
If convicted the teen could face anything from probation or time in juvenile detention until her 21st birthday. She's expected in court next week.
Updated: February 16, 2016
UPDATE: OGLE COUNTY (WIFR) – The teen driver involved in a deadly crash that killed a Stillman Valley cheerleader and an Amboy man has been charged with two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated reckless driving.
We're told the charges are juvenile charges, meaning the teen could spend time in juvenile detention until she turns 21.
You may recall, the crash happened on September 4, 2015 on Route 251 near Big Mound Road. The crash killed 64-year-old Andy Conderman and 17-year-old Emily Fleming and injured two other Stillman Valley cheerleaders. We're told the cheerleaders were on their way to a Stillman Valley football game before the crash.
The teen is expected to be in juvenile court next week.
We will continue to update you on this developing story.
Updated: September 16, 2015
UPDATE: The family of Carly Koenig, one of the girls involved in a deadly crash near Stillman Valley almost two weeks ago, tells us Carly has been released from the hospital and is home, resting and healing.
You may recall, Carly was involved in the same crash on Route 251 near Big Mound Road that killed 64-year-old Andy Conderman and 17-year-old Emily Fleming. We're told the cheerleaders were on their way to a varsity football game before the crash.
Below is the statement from Carly's family:
We are happy to announce Carly was released from the hospital yesterday and is home, resting and healing.
We don't know where to begin in thanking all the people for their love, prayers, and support. But would especially like to thank the emergency response team and all the doctors and nurses at OSF who saved our daughter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families.
The family of Carly Koenig
Updated: September 11, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- Hundreds are expected to attend tonight's Stillman Valley football game, exactly one week after a deadly crash that killed a local father and a high school cheerleader.
Tonight's game is taking place on the same night Andy Conderman is being remembered by his family and friends.
Although the Stillman Valley Community is still grieving, school leaders say players are trying their best to remain "Stillman Strong" in honor of cheerleader Emily Fleming.
School leaders say things are progressing in the Stillman Valley community but add that students and staff are mentally and physically exhausted from last weeks' tragedy.
Superintendent P.J. Caposey says Stillman Valley players still had normal practices this week, but it was a very tough week to get through.
They do, however, expect a large turnout for tonight's game. They say it's been a long, hard week for everyone but they still want kids to be kids and try to enjoy a Friday night football game. Attendees will be wearing helmet stickers in honor of the victims.
"They might be a rival team, but we're a rural community and a small community. I think what's special about that is whenever anything like this, we're all in it for the kids. It's abut the students and we support each other in any way that we can," says Winnebago County School District Superintendent Scott Bloomquist.
There will be a moment of silence tonight for Fleming and Conderman before tonight's football game at 7 p.m.
Updated: September 10, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- Tonight, There were more people in one gym than the population of Stillman Valley, a close-knit town reflecting on a tragic crash that killed two people and injured two other teens nearly a week ago.
Tonight's memorial was held in the Stillman Valley High School gym. Fleming's parents spoke of the high school senior's fondest moments and her uplifting spirit while fighting back tears. Thousands of pictures of Fleming were placed throughout the school along with the words, "Stillman Strong." Fleming was one of two victims who died in a two-car accident in Stillman Valley on the way to a high school football game.
Updated: September 9, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) – The family of Emily Fleming, the Stillman Valley cheerleader who was killed in Friday’s car accident, met with friends and strangers who came to Ogle County today for a chance to offer a brief moment of support. A small-town tragedy has grown into something unexpected.
"I held her really tight and I just said, 'I'm so sorry,'" stranger Marisol Santiago said.
Santiago waited two and a half hours to hug a mother she doesn't know, of a daughter she'd never met.
"She was an amazing cheerleader, athlete; you hear so many amazing stories,” she said. “There are so many strangers in there that didn't even meet her and you see how small the world is."
For 5 hours, packed-cars filled Kishwaukee Church's parking lots, lawns, even county roads. People then stood waiting hours for a few moments with a grieving mother and father.
Santiago says her brother met Emily Fleming for the first time on Friday just hours before the 17 year-old Stillman Valley cheerleader's final moments.
"He just said that she was a nice beautiful young girl that had a smile on every day she'd come into class," she said.
"She was a good friend and when you lose someone like this I'm going to do anything I can to pay my respects," Brady West, who grew up with Fleming, said. West was on the football field for Rockford Lutheran when he learned Friday’s horrifying news.
"On kickoff, my friend told me and I just started to tear up on the field,” he said. “It really affected me the rest of the game and I needed to play my heart out for her."
Now, West, Santiago and hundreds more are turning, what just days ago were, two white crosses in the dirt into a sight to be seen.
After Conderman's name was made public, the roadside memorial grew ten-fold. There will be a memorial service tomorrow for Emily at Stillman Valley High School at 6:00pm. Funeral services for 64 year-old Andy Conderman, who also died in the crash, will be held this Saturday at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church in Dixon.
Updated: September 8, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) – Hundreds are remembering their classmate, teammate, and friend, 17-year-old Emily Fleming who was killed along with the driver of the other car, Andy Conderman.
The cars for Emily Fleming’s visitation service lined all the way down Kishwaukee Road. Services will continue until 8 p.m. Wednesday at Kishwaukee Church near Davis Junction.
There will be a memorial service for Fleming Thursday at Stillman Valley High School at 6 p.m. Funeral services for Andy Conderman will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Dixon.
Updated: September 7, 2015
UPDATE: The Ogle County Sheriff' Office said 17-year-old Alison Seiler, was the driver of one of the cars involved in the accident and was taken by ambulance to Rockford Hospital.
17-year-olds Carly Koenig and Emily Fleming were both taken to Rockford Hospital by helicopter, and Fleming later died from her injuries.
The Ogle County Coroner has confirmed Andrew Conderman, 64, of Amboy was the other driver who died from his injuries.
Police are still investigating the accident.
Updated: September 6, 2015
STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) – Tomorrow, hundreds of students will try to move forward the best they can and the school district will be there to help with the healing process.
"The kids are gonna do what they need to do and grieve and so what they've done so far has been incredibly healthy, well received and well attended,” Meridian School District Superintendent PJ Caposey said. “Our job is to continue to respond to those needs."
When Stillman Valley High School opens its doors to its roughly 600 students tomorrow morning, three desks will be empty.
"Emily was an outstanding kid, she's the type of girl that we all hope our daughters grow up to be," he said.
17 year-old Emily Fleming along with 64 year-old Andy Conderman were killed in an accident, Friday, on Route 251 near Big Mound Road. Fleming and two other varsity cheerleaders were driving to the Cardinal football game when police say the driver of the car the teens were riding in ran a stop sign and collided with Conderman's pick-up-truck. The game was canceled.
"We'll get back to our normal activities on Friday,” Caposey said. “We anticipate that football game to be extremely emotional but it's something that we need to do to get back to normal. Also it's in the wishes of the family to get back to business as usual as much as possible."
For now, he believes the curriculum can wait.
"The direction from the administration and superintendent's office isn't, ‘hey you need to get through chapter 13, it's the well-being of our students.’"
Over 40 counselors from all over Nothwestern Illinois will be on-hand tomorrow to help the teenagers grieve together. They'll also be training teachers so kids can talk to familiar faces. Friday's football game is scheduled at Winnebago High School. Winnebago has requested to hold a moment of silence for the two victims of Friday’s crash.
Updated: September 6, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- One of the cheerleaders injured in the car accident Friday night is now at home, and the other cheerleader is making progress in her recovery.
Emily Fleming's visitation will be at the Kishwaukee Church on Wednesday from 3PM to 8PM and the memorial service will be at Stillman Valley High School at 6PM on Thursday.
Meridian Schools has postponed all athletic contests until the memorial services are completed.
School starts tomorrow and there are counselors on hand to support the faculty, staff and students.
Updated: September 6, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- Family members have identified the driver of the pickup truck as 64-year-old Andy Conderman according to the Rockford Register Star.
Conderman was killed in the two car accident that happened Friday involving three Stillman Valley High School cheerleaders.
Updated: September 5, 2015
STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- It was a day of tears and mourning in Stillman Valley as the community came together praying for the four people involved in a deadly crash on Friday; of the two killed 17-year old Emily Fleming, who was on her way to cheer in the high school football game.
The word "Spazzy" is written in black sharpie on the white cross that stands at the corner of Route 251 and Big Mound Road. It's the nickname friends say they called the Cardinal senior.
"She always wanted to do stuff and be active and be chill,” SVHS sophomore Logan Hilliard said. “She wants to always do something she'll remember and do something active. She was always energetic."
Hundreds of people filled Kishwaukee church in Stillman Valley for a closed prayer vigil for Fleming, the man killed and the two other cheerleaders still in the hospital. Memorials for Fleming are all over the area: “#StillmanStrong” at the basketball court, candles where Emily would use her electric personality to energize a Friday night crowd and a roadside memorial at the crash site.
"The kids are sad, it's pretty shocking,” Heidi Underhill, who would watch Emily cheer every Friday, said. “I guess we all hold our kids tighter when we hear about things like this."
"You walk in on Monday and sit next to her and that chair is going to be empty,” Hilliard said. “She was one of the people that kept us going. She was always positive."
Hilliard says he picked flowers from his family's garden to bring for both Fleming and the driver. He said the (football) team will all pray together in the senior locker room before each game for the rest of this season.
The name of the driver of the truck who was killed has not been released.
Updated: September 5, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- The Stillman Valley High School family is still grieving after a devastating crash involving three of its students shook the community.
Grief counselors and therapy dogs were at the school today helping students cope. The accident happened yesterday evening near Route 251 and Big Mound road in Ogle county. The sheriff tells us that witnesses say the driver of the car with the teens ran a stop sign when it was then hit by a pick up truck. The two other teens who survived are in the hospital remain in stable condition.
"The Meridian School District is a strong, close-knit community that sticks together during times of need. We're thankful for the outpouring of support from our staff, community members and surrounding school districts," said Meridian School District 223 President John Smith.
Local churches have a prayer vigil planned tomorrow night from 5 to 7 at Kishwaukee Church in Stillman Valley. There will also be more counselors at the school on Tuesday.
September 5, 2015
UPDATE: STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- The cheerleader killed in a crash Friday night has been identified.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle says the girl killed is Emily Fleming, 17.
The coroner has preliminarily identified the driver of the truck, however his name will not be released until early next week.
The names of the other cheerleaders hurt have not been released.
September 4, 2015
DAVIS JUNCTION (WIFR) – A tight-knit community is grieving after a deadly crash on the way to a Stillman Valley varsity football game.
Emergency crews tell us two people are dead, including a cheerleader and the driver of another car involved. Two other cheerleaders remain in the hospital right now, their conditions unknown.
The two-car accident happened just before 6 p.m. on Route 251 and Big Mound Road in Ogle County.
The Ogle County Sheriff says witnesses reported seeing the car the teens were in run a stop sign as it was headed westbound on Big Mound Road. The pickup was traveling south on U.S. 251.
Investigators are still trying to identify the driver in the pickup truck who died at the scene.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian Van Vickle spent time with the victim’s families tonight at the hospital and says he’s having a hard time with tonight’s crash.
“We're a small, rural community. I knew the family, so I went to the hospital with them. It was difficult. It's always difficult. It's makes it even that much more difficult when you know them and that's what happens when you're part of a small community like Ogle county is. You do what you need to and then you take care of them and that's what we did tonight."
Meridian Schools Superintendent P.J. Caposey says counselors will be available Saturday at the school and at Kishwaukee Church in Stillman Valley. Counselors from surrounding districts will be at the school on Tuesday, helping students and families.
September 4, 2015
UPDATE: Stillman Valley investigators tell us a Stillman Valley varsity cheerleader and another driver are dead after a two-car crash on Route 251 and Big Mound Road.
Emergency responders say two other varsity cheerleaders were also hurt and have been taken to the hospital.
Investigators tell us the accident happened as the girls were on their way to tonight's football game.
Stillman Valley postponed the varsity football game against Richmond-Burton following the crash.
The Ogle County Sheriff's Department says 251 will be closed for the next three hours between Holcomb Road and Route 72.
September 4, 2015
OGLE COUNTY (WIFR) -- Emergency crews are on the scene of a serious accident involving multiple vehicles in Ogle County on Highway 251 and Big Mound Road.
Details are limited at the moment but we will continue to update you as we learn more.