GCMS student killed in collision

GCMS student killed in collision

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley community is mourning the loss of a GCMS High School junior who was killed in a two-vehicle collision early Saturday morning.

Ford County deputy coroner Lindsay Dilks said that Dylan T. Benningfield, 17, died in a head-on crash north of Gibson City, and his younger brother, Logan, a GCMS High School freshman, was airlifted to an Urbana hospital.

“This has broken the entire community’s heart,” Dilks said. “We’re all just grieving for and with the family.”

Local churches were sending out prayers for the Benningfield family Sunday morning, as Logan remained at Carle Foundation Hospital. Logan’s condition appeared to be improving, Dilks said.

“The last I heard he was in critical but stable condition,” Dilks said. “They did a couple of minor operations to improve the situation.”

Support personnel will be available for students and staff throughout the day Monday at GCMS High School, the school district’s superintendent Jeremy Darnell said in a Facebook post.

Darnell added that “many in the GCMS community have reached out to support this family in this time of need,” and that “support efforts can be directed to the high school office.”

“Our thoughts are with the Benningfield family as they navigate through this difficult time,” Darnell said. “Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this tragic event.”

The accident happened between 6:30 and 7 a.m. on Ford County Road 900 North, about a quarter-mile west of Illinois 47, Dilks said.

Dilks said that Dylan Benningfield was driving his mother’s car east on County Road 900 North when it collided head-on with a westbound fertilizer truck. Logan Benningfield was a passenger in the car, Dilks said.

Dilks said she pronounced Dylan Benningfield deceased at 8:34 a.m. at the scene, Dilks said.

An autopsy is to be conducted Monday morning to confirm the cause of death, Dilks said.

District 21 Illinois State Police were investigating the cause of the accident.

Dilks said she believes all three people involved in the accident were wearing seat belts.

“Dylan definitely was,” Dilks said.

The driver of the fertilizer truck — whose name Dilks was not immediately able to provide — did not appear to be seriously injured. He was taken by ambulance to Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City to be evaluated, Dilks said.

“He was more in shock and horrified by everything (than he was injured),” Dilks said.

Dylan Benningfield was an organ donor, she said.

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