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Breaking News

Morris couple dies after being hit by vehicle

Teen driver ticketed

MORRIS – A 16-year-old Morris teenager was ticketed after striking a Morris couple who were riding their bicycles Tuesday night on Old Stage Road.

Mark and Janice Wendling of Morris were riding bicycles westbound about 7 p.m. in the 4500 block of Old Stage Road when they were struck from behind, according to a news release from the Grundy County Coroner's Office.

Grundy County Deputy Sheriff Craig Meece said the teen was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The incident remains under investigation.

Mark Wendling was pronounced dead at the scene by Grundy County Coroner John Callahan at 7:15 p.m., according to the news release. Janice Wendling was flown from the scene and died at 8:32 p.m. at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Both were wearing helmets, according to Callahan.

The couple married July 12, 1986, according to their obituary. Janice Wendling was a math teacher in Morris Elementary District 54. School and community-based counselors will be available from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday and Friday, according to a posting on the District 54 website. The posting also noted it would share service information once it becomes available.

"There were always kids in [her] classroom, before school, after school," Interim Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said Wednesday. "She was a confident teacher that everyone wanted."

Gegenheimer said he saw Janice Wendling on Tuesday morning when she stopped by his office to give him some strawberry preserves she made.

"She called me last week and wanted to meet with me before my time as interim superintendent came to an end, she came by my office yesterday at 10 a.m," he said.

Mark Wendling worked as an engineer at the Exelon LaSalle County Generating Station in Marseilles.

According to friends, he was very active with the Morris Soccer Association and both he and his wife were supporters of the Morris Community High School Band Boosters.

Visitation is scheduled for 4 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Cross Lutheran Church, 8609 Route 47 in Yorkville, according to an obituary posted online at Nelson Funeral Homes. Funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.

The couple were bicycling to prepare for Bike MS: Tour de Farms this weekend in DeKalb. The fundraising portion of the ride has a minimum of $300 per rider.

An examination was scheduled for Wednesday by Callahan’s office for Mark Wendling; an examination for Janice Wendling also was scheduled for Wednesday by the DuPage County Coroner’s Office.

The investigation continues by the Grundy County Coroner's Office, Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and DuPage County Coroner’s Office.

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