Huntley teen killed, 2 injured in McHenry crash

A 19-year-old from Huntley was killed and two others injured in a single- vehicle crash Wednesday night in unincorporated McHenry County, authorities said.

Jennifer M. Kearns was thrown from a 1995 Jeep Cherokee headed west on the 17500 block of Marengo Road in unincorporated Coral Township around 8:06 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department.

The driver, Zachary C. Richardson, 22, of the 6100 block of Ridgeview Drive, Huntley, also was thrown from the sport utility vehicle and taken to Woodstock Memorial Hospital where he remained Thursday morning.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Karen Groves said Richardson was ticketed for improper lane use, and authorities were waiting for tests results to see if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.

Groves said Richardson told authorities he turned around to talk to two back seat passengers and the SUV went onto the shoulder.

He was unable to recover and the vehicle entered a ditch and came to rest on its side.

“There was a distraction while he was driving,” Groves said. “He was looking back at the back seat passengers.”

John W. Sheehan, 23, who also lived with Richardson in the 6100 block of Ridgeview, Huntley, was taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin where he was treated and released, authorities said.

Steven D. Manninen, 21, of the 1500 block of Hemmingson Road, Union, refused medical treatment.

None of the occupants were wearing seat belts, the sheriff’s office said.

An autopsy on Kearns was scheduled for Thursday. Her family was not immediately available for comment.

Groves said the four were on their way to Union for dinner.

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