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Local

NIU student dies in car accident

DeKALB – A Northern Illinois University student died Sunday after a weekend car accident in Sawyer County, Wis., police said Tuesday. Alexander M. Hartung, 21, was a senior studying engineering.

According to the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department, Hartung was a passenger in a 1995 Dodge Intrepid that apparently had been eastbound on a rural county road at high speed when the driver, Mark A. Rhine, 22, apparently lost control. The car crashed backwards into a tree near an intersection. Rhine, of Buffalo Grove, whose name also appears in the NIU student directory, was seriously injured in the accident along with another man, Paul M. Mesher, 23, of Arlington Heights.

Police said two of the injured men were taken to Duluth, Minn.-area hospitals Sunday, and the third man was taken to Hayward Area Memorial Hospital in Hayward, Wis., and later transferred by helicopter to a Minneapolis hospital. No further information about Rhine or Mesher was available Tuesday, a Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.

Hartung’s Facebook page listed him Tuesday as a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student from Long Grove. Friends left memorial messages there, and a family member posted a message about funeral plans.

At NIU, Hartung’s fellow engineering students held an informal gathering Tuesday afternoon in the Engineering Building to commemorate his life, said Mia Hannon, business manager for the College of Engineering. Hannon said another gathering will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m. today in the Engineering Building, Room 358. The gathering is open to anyone who knew Hartung, Hannon said.

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