Three PLT students killed in semi-pickup crash near Tampico

Sheriff: Fourth teen, driver of the pickup, treated for serious, but nonlife-threatening, injuries

First responders and neighbors work at an accident scene in rural Whiteside County Thursday, March 28, 2024.

TAMPICO – Three boys who attended Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico High School/Middle School were killed Thursday in a crash at the intersection of Hahnaman and Luther roads in rural Tampico, Superintendent Heidi Lensing confirmed.

The crash involving a Ford pickup and a semitractor-trailer occurred about 12:55 p.m., Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said. All three died at the scene.

The pickup’s driver, also a male juvenile, was treated for serious injuries that were not life-threatening, Booker said.

The semi driver, who was not identified, was not injured.

Three of the boys were high-schoolers.

“It is with great sadness that I must inform you that three children have passed away. These students attended PLT Middle School and PLT High School,” Lensing said in a news release about 5:30 p.m.

According to a news release from Booker on Thursday evening, the pickup was northbound on Luther and failed to stop for the stop sign. It was struck by the eastbound semi.

No names are being released at this time, Booker said, and the investigation continues.

Hahnaman Road was closed for about seven hours.

“Our district is committed to doing everything we can to help our students with the grieving and healing process,” Lensing said in the district’s release.

Although the district is on spring break until Tuesday, PLT’s crisis counseling team will be at the school at 38 Ferry St. at 9 a.m. Friday with counselors, social workers and area ministers on hand, she said.

“This loss will affect everyone in our school family and in the Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico community. Students may have a difficult time dealing with the loss, and we encourage you to talk with your child,” she said.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.