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updated: 6/30/2014 4:44 PM

Glendale Heights man killed, girlfriend injured in crash

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  • Adam Villanueva

    Adam Villanueva
    Photo courtesy of Angie Villanueva


A Glendale Heights man headed for a day of canoeing on the Wisconsin River was killed and his girlfriend, also from Glendale Heights, was critically injured during an accident last week in Iowa County, Wisconsin, authorities said Monday.

Police said Adam Villanueva, 19, was driving his father's 2007 Toyota Rav4 south at 11:34 a.m. on State Road 23 when he made a U-turn at the intersection of County Road C into the path of a truck.

Police identified Villanueva's front seat passenger as Karen M. Martinez, 19. Martinez was flown from the scene to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. The truck driver was not injured.

Villanueva's mother, Angie Villanueva, said Adam had discovered canoeing during an earlier trip with his baseball team and was excited to do it again, this time with Karen, whom he'd known since grade school.

"They were looking forward to the trip and doing this together," she said.

The 2012 Glenbard North graduate with a "passion for baseball" was eager to begin his sophomore year at Benedictine University in Lisle, where he was studying business with a science application.

"He was a happy kid, a people person who loved everyone," his mom said. "Business seemed like the right choice."

Police said all three were wearing seat belts. The crash is still under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol, who did not immediately return a telephone call Monday.

Friends held a vigil for Villanueva at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Camera Park in Glendale Heights. Services were held Saturday.

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