SYCAMORE – A 19-year-old nursing student, her mother and her 2-year-old son were killed Thursday when their Mitsubishi Galant slammed into a fertilizer truck near Sycamore, authorities said.
The Galant was driving north along the curve on Peace Road just north of Freed Road when it crossed the centerline about 11:20 a.m., DeKalb County Sheriff's police said. Driving was Jenny Perez; her passengers were her mother, Angelina Felix, 57, and her son, Roberto M. Perez, 2. All three lived in Palatine.
"At this point, it's a tragic accident; there's no indication of anything other than that," Sheriff Roger Scott said, adding that police did not know what caused Jenny Perez to cross the centerline.
Jenny Perez was the youngest of six children. She was studying nursing at Harper College in Palatine and working as a cashier, her sister Lupe Perez said. She loved taking her son to park and the library, even though he was too young to read.
“She was always kind to others, always smiled," Lupe Perez said. "She always tried to make the best of any situation.”
Their mother had a strong belief in God and a large heart, Lupe Perez said.
"There's a lot of people at the house right now," Lupe Perez said Thursday afternoon. "She was a second mom to a lot of people."
DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller pronounced the three dead at the scene; he said they were killed instantly when the front driver's side of the car collided with the oncoming fertilizer truck, which was not carrying any fertilizer at the time of the accident.
The speed limit in the area is 55 mph, although drivers are advised to slow to 45 mph around the curve. "We believe the driver of the truck tried to avoid it, but of course you can't sometimes," Miller said.
Miller said Perez and her passengers were passing through DeKalb County. They did not appear to have any connections to the community.
The driver of the truck, Reid R. Anderson, 27, of Sycamore, was not injured, police said. Peace Road was closed in that area until 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Scott said.
By Thursday afternoon, sheriff's police had not found any witnesses to the accident besides Anderson. Anyone who saw the crash is asked to call police at 815-895-2155.
"The evidence we have is pretty clear," Scott said. "But it would be helpful to have a witness."