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Arenzville Siblings Killed in Crash
An Arenzville brother and sister are dead after a three-car accident Saturday afternoon.
According to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, Peyton O'Neil, 17, was headed northbound on Concord-Arenzville road with his sister, Zoe, 15, at around 4:14 p.m. when he clipped a van in front of him as he tried to pass it. It is unclear if the van was moving or was stopped and preparing to turn onto South Meadow Lane.
"It put the O'Neil vehicle into a spin, and it swung around and met a southbound pickup truck," said Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack.
Peyton was pronounced dead at the scene, and Zoe was brought to St. John's Hospital in Springfield before being pronounced dead at 6:42 Saturday night - about two-and-a-half hours after the accident. None of the other parties involved suffered serious injuries.
The crash happened near Triopia Junior-Senior High School where Peyton would have started as a senior, and Zoe as a sophomore, on Tuesday.
The O'Neils were both athletes, and according to their superintendent, very friendly kids - with Peyton as the prankster and Zoe as the quiet and reserved one.
"Well-liked," Triopia C.U.S.D. #27 superintendent Steve Eisenhauer said of the siblings. "You know, again with Peyton, I'm sure he probably butted heads with some of our teachers, but again Zoe would be the type of student to just sit back and absorb everything. And then, when time was proper, she would voice her opinion on things as well.
The O'Neil family has requested privacy as they grieve, but said in a statement that they were grateful for the prayers.
Still, the enormity of their loss is tangible.
"You know, for us, as a community as a district made up of three small towns, they come together when things like this occur," Eisenhauer said. "And again, it's going to be a difficult couple of weeks; that's for sure. There's going to be a lot of emotions."
The school has arranged for counselors to be available for students when they come to school on Tuesday.