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Newark High graduate dies following Tuesday crash

Community creates #newarkstrong hashtag; helps family on GoFundMe page

Ian Oldenburg
Ian Oldenburg

The Newark High School community is mourning the loss of a recent graduate.

Ian Oldenburg, 18, of Newark, died at 11:54 a.m. Wednesday at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County Bureau of Administration. He died from injuries sustained in a Tuesday night car crash involving three vehicles on Route 71, southwest of Newark.

According to La Salle County Sheriff's Office, the driver of the first vehicle was attempting a left turn into Cushing Field, near East 2975th Road. The driver of a second car, behind the first, went around to the right of the turning vehicle, then a truck, behind both of them, struck the turning vehicle.

One occupant was taken to Morris Hospital, and the others were taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora. The names of the other occupants have not been released.

An investigation of the crash still is ongoing and more information may be released at a later time.

Newark High School Superintendent Amy Smith said the district will support students and staff with a School Crisis Assistance Team available Monday and beyond at the school.

"He was a wonderful, kind young man who had an infectious smile," Smith said of Oldenburg. “Our thought and prayers go out to the Oldenburg family and all of the other students involved in this tragedy. #NewarkStrong”

Several posts on social media have included condolences with the hashtag #newarkstrong.

“The Newark community has bonded together to support Ian’s family through a GoFundMe page and at the local BP gas station where Ian worked," Smith said.

The page was set up to assist Ian Oldenburg's family, which has exceeded its goal of $10,000 as of Friday afternoon.

"Ian may have been the quiet one, but he was also the wittiest and most down to earth person this community knows," the page said.

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