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16-year-old girl killed in Wauconda crash ID’d as McHenry West High School student

Danielle Thomas, 16, of McHenry, was killed on Friday in Wauconda after a two-vehicle crash.

16-year-old McHenry West High School student Danielle E. Thomas was identified as the girl killed after a car drove into the wrong lanes of traffic, striking her vehicle head-on in Wauconda Friday evening.

The Wauconda Police Department and Wauconda Fire District responded to the northbound lanes of Route 12 just south of Case Road at 10:15 p.m. Friday for a two-vehicle crash.

Wauconda Police spokeswoman Heather Cognac said that a black Hyundai Elantra, driven by Caleb R. Rohrbach, 18, of Cary, was traveling southbound on Route 12 when his vehicle crossed the center median and entered the northbound lanes of Route 12.

A gray Ford Focus, driven by Danielle, was traveling northbound on Route 12 when it was struck head-on by Rohrbach’s car.

A two-vehicle head-on crash on Route 12 in Wauconda left a 16-year-old girl dead and four other teens injured Friday evening | Photo provided to Lake and McHenry County Scanner by the Wauconda Police Department.

Danielle was extricated from her car and transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington where she was pronounced dead, Cognac said. Rohrbach was also extricated from his car and transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

Two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old girl, who are McHenry residents, were passengers in the Ford. One of the 14-year-old passengers and the 15-year-old passenger were transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

The other 14-year-old passenger was transported to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital where she was treated and released.

“Please take a few minutes to pray for all who was involved in the horrible crash. There has been so many people telling me that Danielle would light up a room with her smile, laughs and energy. You will be missed by so many,” McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said.

A GoFundMe started for Danielle’s family has raised almost $20,000 in just one day.

The Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT), Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Zurich Police Department and Island Lake Police Department assisted the Wauconda Police Department.

Charges are pending against Rohrbach, police said. The investigation is ongoing by the Wauconda Police Department and Major Crash Assistance Team.


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