Mahomet teen killed in crash; two friends injured

Mahomet teen killed in crash; two friends injured

MAHOMET - A Mahomet teen died in a fiery crash north of the Lake of the Woods park in Mahomet Friday night.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said he pronounced Austin Dyson, 16, dead at 9:30 p.m. at the scene of the crash on Golf Drive just west of the Lake of the Woods Road.

Two passengers with him, Ryan Shaffer, 15, of Champaign, and Terrence "T.J." Washington, 16, of Mahomet, survived the crash but were injured.

Shaffer was listed in critical but stable condition Saturday afternoon at Springfield Memorial Medical Center, where he was taken with burns. Washington was listed in good condition at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Will Davis said the crash was witnessed by a man at 8:40 p.m. He saw the van the teens were in traveling east on Golf Road at what was described as a high rate of speed. The van left the road and crashed head-on into a tree in a yard in the 1800 block of Golf Road. 

"It caught fire. The passengers were able to get out but the driver was not able to," Davis said.

Davis said preliminary information is that Shaffer was in the front seat and Washington was in the back. The van belonged to Mr. Dyson's grandparents, Davis said. 

The coroner said Mr. Dyson lived with his mother on Dianne Lane in Mahomet. An autopsy was being done Saturday afternoon to determine if he died before the fire, which badly burned him.

Cornbelt firefighters were called to put out the fire, which Northrup said consumed the van quickly.

"By the time the fire department put out the fire, there was nothing left. It was a bad crash,"  he said, adding that firefighters helped him remove Mr. Dyson's body. Mahomet police also helped sheriff's deputies.

Northrup said he is still gathering information on where the teens may have been prior to the crash.




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