Recent Snowfall Causes Multiple Accidents


A bouquet of flowers is left at the scene where Esther Jung was killed

Sofi Zeman, Editor-In-Chief

    The most recent rush of heavy snowfall has caught the attention of hundreds of midwestern families this past week. Nearly all schools in the county’s surrounding school districts gave students the day off on Wednesday, due to the severity of the cold weather, as well as for poor road conditions and streets that had yet to be plowed. Given the multiple snow-related accidents that have occurred throughout Illinois and its neighbors over the past week, it seems that canceling school on Wednesday was the right call to make.

     On Sunday, Jan. 20, Esther Jung and a nine year old friend of hers were playing in a snow fort that they made outside of Rothem Church. Both Jung- the pastor’s daughter – and her friend’s parents were inside partaking in the church service while the girls were playing outside. The snow fort collapsed on the two  girls, leaving them trapped underneath the snow for nearly an hour. After hearing a plea for help from the nine year old, the girls were found and pulled out of the snow. The younger of the two girls was treated for hypothermia and released to go home on Monday. Jung, unfortunately, suffered from both asphyxia and hypothermia. She was proclaimed dead when she reached the hospital. Since then, members of the community have been leaving flowers on the snowbank where the incident occurred.

     At Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana, a plane slid on a patch of runway ice, using a nearby snowbank to stop itself. None of the 51 passengers aboard faced any injury. The crew aboard followed standard procedure and  safely evacuated the plane, returning everyone back to the terminal. The passengers made it to Atlanta, Georgia after a seven hour delay.

     On Wednesday, Jan. 23, a man in McHenry County died in a snowmobile accident. Thirty-two year old, Brandon Shields, reportedly crashed into a tree that was within the city limits of Harvard. This happened in the early hours of morning and the victim was pronounced dead at approximately 2 AM. The incident will continue to be analyzed under further investigation.

     A man driving a limousine on Jan. 19 lost control of his vehicle and slid off the road while driving over a bridge. The vehicle slid into the Fox River in Algonquin, IL. Luckily, he was able to free himself from the water, while the front end of the limo was fully submerged. At the time, he had no passengers in the car. After checking with a paramedic, he left the scene without injury. The car was later towed out of the water.

     Earlier this week, an IDOT spokesman provided some insight on how to prevent vehicle collisions when driving in this weather. According to CBS, the Illinois Department of Transportation stresses the importance of time management around this time of year. The department feels that this avoids rushing, which leads to reckless driving. Given the time of year, any reckless driving is significantly more likely to lead to a vehicular collision. Rather than speeding off to the next endeavor, it is particularly important to slow down.