Teen killed in car crash

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Two vehicles filled with teenagers collided in north suburban Deerfield just before midnight Tuesday. A 15-year old girl was killed. Police say Gina Bronge and one other passenger were not wearing a seatbelt.

Investigators say alcohol, drugs and speeding were not factors in the crash.

"Oh no, not again." That was the first thought of the Deerfield Police chief Tuesday night when he got the call about local teens involved in a car wreck. Tuesday night's death brings to three the number of Deerfield teens who have died in car crashes in the last year, but they have been under very different circumstances.

Seven teens in two cars. They were coming from opposite directions and police say both entered the intersection on a yellow light and collided. The Jeep Wrangler hit a pole. The crash killed 15-year-old Gina Bronge, one of two teenage passengers who police say was not wearing her seatbelt.

"In this case it appears it was just an accident, two cars in the same intersection at the same time. They're age at this point does not appear to be a contributing factor to this accident," said Chief John Sliozis, Deerfield Police.

Everyone involved in the crash attends Deerfield High School. Gina Bronge was to start her sophomore year next month. Wednesday, she is being remembered as a young woman who volunteered with the school's environment club and as an avid ice hockey player.

Bronge was co-captain of her club team, the Falcons.

"Everyone talks about Gina Bronge. She's the cool girl. She's good at sports. She's tough. She was always joking and had a great sense of humor, a great girl," said Erica Beringer, victim's friend.

Deerfield High School opened its doors Wednesday and will again Thursday to make crisis counselors available to a student body already scarred by tragedy. Last fall, two other Deerfield students died in an alcohol-related wreck.

"This community has gone through so many tragedies over the last year. Our thoughts are with Gina's family. It's just going to be difficult for the community to rebound from something like this again," said Carol Votsmier, Deerfield H.S. spokesperson.

Police don't expect to issue any citations for Tuesday night's crash. They are, however, encouraging parents to talk with the teens about wearing seatbelts and driving responsibly.

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