A 16-year-old Prairie Du Rocher girl was killed Friday when the car she was driving was hit by a train in her hometown.
The teen, identified as Lillian "Lilly" Vandeford by Red Bud Unit District 132 Superintendent Jonathan Tallman, was a student-athlete for Red Bud High School.
According to authorities, the teen was driving a Chevrolet Cruze, and was stopped for a northbound train.at the Duclos Street railroad crossing near Berger Lane in Prairie Du Rocher.
The Illinois State Police said in a statement that after that train passed but the gates remained down and the lights continued flashing, she drove around the downed gates and the car was hit on the passenger side by a southbound train.
Lilly Vandeford was a member of the Red Bud volleyball team. Tallman emailed Red Bud parents on Saturday about the tragedy and invited students to speak with counselors.
"It's a sad day for our district and our community," Tallman told the Belleview News Democrat on Sunday night. "Whenever something tragic like this happens, it's extremely sad. But the school district is going to do what we do best, and that's come together as a community."
The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. The train crew refused medical attention.