School remembers 'amazing and loved' Staunton sisters killed in deadly I-55 crash

Hailey and Madisen Bertels. Credit: KMOV

All activities at a high school in Staunton, Ill. have been cancelled Wednesday as residents in the community mourn the loss of two young sisters killed in a deadly I-55 crash.

“This is a tragedy that is beyond comprehension for us here in Staunton,” said Principal of Staunton high school, Brett Allen.

Staunton high school’s principal struggled to find words pertaining to the grief being felt due to two young sisters who were killed.

Madisen Bertels, 17, was a senior at Staunton high school.

“A great young lady, she played gold and softball, an office aide for me and my secretary, so we had the pleasure of working with her every day and it’s going to be hard moving forward,” said Allen.

Hailey Bertels, 20, graduated from the high school a few years earlier and was attending college in Kentucky.

“She had an amazing personality. She was very involved and loved by her peers and teachers, youth group and softball team,” said Allen.

The girls were traveling on I-55 when their car was among seven vehicles that were rammed into by a tractor trailer.

Rescue workers said it was one of the worst scenes they have ever witnessed.

Residents in Staunton say it’s a dangerous stretch of highway.

“From early on in the investigation we almost came to the conclusion that there was nothing else the other drivers could have done,” said Illinois State Trooper Calvin Dye.

Officials say 12 people were sent to the hospital following the crash and two remain in critical condition.

Police are currently questioning the 53-year-old truck driver from Colorado.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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