BETHALTO — A Saturday night crash involving a single car carrying five students from Roxana High School killed 16-year-old Samantha D. Owsley of East Alton and injured four other youths.
According to Chief Deputy Coroner Roger Smith, Owsley, the driver, was pronounced dead at about 10:32 p.m. at the scene by Coroner's Investigator Kelsey Wofford. The 2003 Volkswagen Beetle was westbound in the 5000 Block of Buchta Road when it left the pavement and struck a tree at about 9:20 p.m.
Bethalto Police said the vehicle left the roadway, "At a significant rate of speed." The occupants were ejected.
The surviving passengers, three girls and a boy, were taken by helicopter to area hospitals, Smith's press release said. Their names were not released. The ongoing investigation will determine if seats belt had been in use although a coroner's report noted that airbags deployed.
A Sunday morning autopsy showed that Owsley died of internal chest trauma. Routine toxicological testing is being conducted.
Bethalto Police and the Collinsville Police Department conducted a crash reconstruction investigation.
Marks Mortuary of Wood River is handling funeral arrangements which were incomplete.