COAL CITY — When a 16-year-old Coal City girl died Friday night in a vehicle accident, the man driving the car in which she was riding was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs. He has been arrested.
Grundy County Coroner John Callahan pronounced Alyssa Nicole Swyndro, a junior at Coal City High School, dead at the scene. She died when the pickup truck she was riding in left Whitetie Road, a quarter-mile west of Broadway Street. The vehicle struck a culvert and then rolled into a tree. Callahan noted the roads were covered in snow at the time.
When emergency personnel got on scene, the truck was found on its side and Swyndro was trapped in the vehicle, according to a press release from the Grundy County Sheriff's Department.
Matthew C. Moser, 19, of Coal City, was the driver of the vehicle. He was transported to Morris Hospital that night with injuries, but Sheriff Kevin Callahan said that Moser was walking around at the accident site.
Once released from the emergency room, Moser was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI resulting in death, driving under the combination of alcohol and drugs, driving too fast for conditions, unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor, unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, and failure to wear a seatbelt.
Sheriff Callahan said Moser was released on bond over the weekend.
Coal City High School and the community are grieving and remembering Swyndro, who was a Grundy Area Vocational Center student in the criminal justice program, said Coal City Principal Mitch Hamann.
"She was very polite. She always said 'hi' going down the hall and always had a smile on her face," Hamann said. "The kids cared a lot for her and I have no doubt she's going to be missed."
Superintendent Dr. Kent Bugg said the district's crisis team was gathered Monday morning to put a plan together to help their students as much as possible. Counselors were available when students arrived and the district is doing whatever it can to support the students.
"In all of our school district, our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time. We're dedicated to helping them in anyway we can," said Bugg.
A visitation will be held at 3 p.m. today, Tuesday, Feb. 5, at Coal City United Methodist Church, 6805 East McArdle Road, Coal City. It will last until the funeral service at 7:30 p.m.