Two SIU students from suburbs killed in Carbondale crash

Two suburban teens attending Southern Illinois University in Carbondale were killed in a two-vehicle crash there Monday morning.

Francis M. Martinez, 18, of Des Plaines, and Wolfgang W. Gustaveson, 19, of Park Ridge, died when a truck in which they were riding collided head on with another truck, Carbondale police said in a news release.

The collision occurred about 7:45 a.m. on a two-lane highway north of campus.

The driver of the other vehicle was seriously injured and taken to a hospital.

Martinez and Gustaveson were majoring in automotive technology, Chancellor Austin A. Lane said in an email to the school community.

"We are brokenhearted to lose two members of the Saluki family," Lane wrote. "We extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends."

Gustaveson was a 2023 graduate of Maine East High School in Park Ridge, and the school community was devastated Monday as word of his death spread, Maine Township High School District 207 spokesman Brett Clark said.

Known at Maine East as Wolf, Gustaveson was honored by the school board this past spring as one of the district's best students in technology and innovation.

A skilled student, he was especially passionate about robotics, computer programming and cars, according to the District 207 website.

He was described as having a lot of positive energy and wanting to lead others.

"He had a profound impact on a lot of people," Clark said.

Support personnel will be brought in to help grieving students and employees, Clark said.

Information about Martinez's earlier education and interests wasn't available Monday.

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