Both drivers involved in Tampico triple fatal crash cited

A roadside memorial is seen Friday, March 29, 2024, at the site where three Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico High School/Middle School students were killed in a crash at the corner of Luther and Hahnaman Roads.

ROCK FALLS – The driver of a pickup truck that investigators said failed to stop at an intersection, resulting in the deaths of his three passengers, has been cited for failure to stop and for violating his graduated license restrictions.

The driver of the semitractor-trailer that hit the pickup also has been cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Keyan L. Crow, 17, of Deer Grove, was driving his 2003 Ford pickup north on Luther Road just outside of Tampico shortly before 1 p.m. March 28. He failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by a semi that was eastbound on Hahnaman Road, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said.

Jayden Hanson and Channing Swertfeger, both 14, and Douglas “DJ” Dorathy, 16, died at the scene.

Crow was cited for disobeying a stop sign and because until he turns 18 the number of passengers he is allowed to carry is limited to one person younger than 20, unless the passenger or passengers are siblings.

His first court appearance is May 20.

Crow, who was cited Tuesday but not identified until court records were filed this week, was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, although a meal train for his family has been organized because of some sort of surgery the teen is facing in the wake of the crash.

The semi driver, Korey L. Hostetler, 29, also of Deer Grove, was not injured. He was driving for Fairfield Specialty Eggs in Deer Grove.

His initial appearance is May 25.

All four boys were Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico High School/Middle School students. Channing was an eighth grader.

Meanwhile, no services are planned for a 41-year-old Rock Falls man hit and killed by a semi less than a week later, on Wednesday, as he was driving a tractor south of Rock Falls.

According to his obituary, posted on the Law Jones Funeral Home website, Matthew Dean Miller, formerly of Chadwick, worked for several area farms over the years. Among others, he is survived by his children, Madalynn, Derek and Brooklyn; his father, Jeff Miller of Fairhaven; and siblings, Shelly Lantz and Jonathan Miller, both of Chadwick.

Miller was northbound on Route 40 about 9:20 a.m. and preparing to turn west onto Route 172/Star Road when a northbound semitrailer entered the southbound lane to overtake the tractor. The two vehicles collided at the intersection and went off the northwest side of the road, Booker said.

Miller died at the scene.

The semi driver, Gustavo Cervantes, 39, of Crest Hill, was treated at CGH Medical Center in Sterling and released. He was cited for improper passing within 100 feet of an intersection.

The crash, which closed Route 40 for about six hours, occurred about 7 miles northeast of the scene of the collision in which the teens died. Both vehicles were insured, court records show.

Also, both crashes remain under investigation, Booker said Friday.

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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.