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Local News

Teenager killed in SUV crash near Wheaton Thursday night was WWS student

Karlos Leath, a 31-year-old Warrenville resident, was charged with two counts of aggravated DUI following the rollover Thursday night of an SUV that resulted in the death of Stephanie Pickett, an 18-year-old student at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.
Karlos Leath, a 31-year-old Warrenville resident, was charged with two counts of aggravated DUI following the rollover Thursday night of an SUV that resulted in the death of Stephanie Pickett, an 18-year-old student at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.

WHEATON – The 18-year-old woman killed Thursday night in an SUV crash near Wheaton was a student at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, according to information from Community Unit School District 200.

Stephanie Pickett was a WWS senior, said Erica Loiacono, director of public relations for CUSD 200. Pickett died when the 2003 Ford Explorer in which she was a passenger rolled over at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday as it was traveling southbound on Shaffner Road in unincorporated DuPage County near Wheaton, authorities with the DuPage County Sheriff's Office said.

"We were just informed that the woman who lost her life in a car accident last night was 18-year-old Wheaton Warrenville South senior Stephanie Pickett," a statement released Friday morning from CUSD 200 reads. "Our district and school crisis team has been put into place and is offering assistance to any students or staff who need to talk to someone about this tragic event. Please encourage your students to seek out assistance if they need to talk to someone. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Pickett family and friends."

Karlos Leath, a 31-year-old Warrenville resident, was charged with two counts of aggravated DUI following the crash, authorities said. The SUV he was driving left the roadway as it approached Mack Road and rolled over, the sheriff's office said.

Emergency personnel from both Wheaton and Winfield responded to the incident Thursday night. They transported Leath and Pickett to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where the young woman was pronounced dead from her injuries, authorities said.

Investigators from the sheriff's office closed Shaffner Road in both directions for about five hours to reconstruct the scene of the crash. The incident remains under investigation, authorities said.

Leath appeared in court Friday morning, and his bond was set at $1 million, authorities said.

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