Kaneland High School students and staff returned to school with heavy hearts Monday, following the deaths of two juniors in a weekend crash in Maple Park.
Arthur "Arty" Stenger of Montgomery and Elijah Vajgert of Maple Park were killed when the pickup truck Arty was driving was hit by a trailer truck at Meredith and Beith roads.
The teens were headed west on Beith Road in a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup that had stopped for the stop sign at intersection. For an unknown reason, authorities said, the truck then pulled into the intersection and was struck by a 1979 Peterbilt semi hauling corn and traveling south on Meredith Road.
Both boys died at the scene.
The 16-year-olds were juniors.
"Today we heard over and over what nice guys they were," Principal Jill Maras said. "They had a great sense of humor and were really good friends. Again and again the students and staff described them as boys their parents can be very proud of.
"They will be missed and our students and staff are grieving. The community and area districts have been very supportive and the outreach of care is sustaining us during this difficult time."
Grief counselors were on hand in the school to discuss the matter with students.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.