A 17-year-old teen died following a single-vehicle crash in Staunton early Monday.
Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn’s office announced Monday afternoon that Matthew E. DeWeese, of Livingston, was killed in the crash that was reported at 12:48 a.m.
Nonn said DeWeese was driving a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass eastbound on Williamson Avenue in Staunton when the car left the road and struck a tree. Even though Deweese was wearing a seat belt, he was ejected from the vehicle.
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Everyone was just a mess mourning the loss of a real good friend. He always had a smile on his face and always wanted to make people laugh. He was friends with everyone he knew. Everyone knew who Matt DeWeese was.
Colt Thacker, friend of Matthew Deweese
Nonn said DeWeese suffered blunt trauma to the head, chest and abdomen and was pronounced dead at 1:41 a.m. at the scene.
Routine toxicology tests remain pending, Nonn said.
Deweese was a senior at Staunton High School.
Colt Thacker, a longtime friend who’s known DeWeese since the third grade, said Monday had “been a rough day” in Staunton.
“Everyone was just a mess mourning the loss of a real good friend,” Thacker, 19, said. “He always had a smile on his face and always wanted to make people laugh. He was friends with everyone he knew. Everyone knew who Matt DeWeese was.”
Deweese will be remembered as having an affinity for old Dodge trucks.
“It was all he ever wanted to talk about,” Thacker said.
“He was always easygoing, he always went with the flow,” Thacker added.
Our top priority now is the well-being of our students who are hurting and grieving.
Staunton District 6 Superintendent Dan Cox
Staunton District 6 Superintendent Dan Cox wrote in a statement Monday evening acknowledged “a very sad day for our school family and for our community.”
“Our top priority now is the well-being of our students who are hurting and grieving. We (had) a crisis counseling team at the school today and we met with our teachers this morning to help prepare them to assist students in dealing with this terrible loss,” Cox wrote. “The Staunton community and our school will pull together to help each other.”
The crash remains under investigation.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Irwin Chapel Funeral Home in Granite City.