Crash victim killed near site of twin sister’s 1996 death

A 29-year-old Dyer, Ind., woman killed in a car-truck collision Thursday in Crete was the twin sister of a girl killed by a hit-and-run driver approximately 500 yards away in 1996, a family member said today.

Sarah Sanaghan was killed around 5:40 a.m. when her car collided with a tanker truck at Illinois Route 394 and Burville Road. Illinois State Police say Sanaghan was heading west on Burville when she drove a Chevy Cruze across the four-lane expressway in front of the tanker truck heading south.

Her route would have taken her past Plum Creek Bridge on Burville Road, where she, her twin sister, Cari, and friends Courtney Lauer, Sheena Acres, and a boy were walking just before midnight on May 26, 1996, after sneaking out of the house during a sleepover at the twins’ home.

Cari, 11, Courtney, 12, and Sheena, 12, were fatally injured and the boy, 13, hospitalized with broken bones after being hit by a pickup truck. The pre-teens were hit by Richard Devon, a neighbor, who was later convicted and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for leaving the scene.

“We do not want to relive this again,” said Sarah’s stepmom, Elizabeth Sanaghan, this afternoon.

It was not immediately clear to the Tribune where Sarah Sanaghan was headed at the time of Thursday’s crash.

The tanker truck struck a light pole on the southwest side of the roadway and then rolled onto its side, coming to rest in a ditch. No hazardous material was released, but both roads were closed for several hours. The truck driver wasn’t seriously injured, and the crash remains under investigation, State Police said. The Lake County, Ind., coroner’s office said Sanaghan sustained blunt force head trauma.

Crete-area resident Lori Loya said her son and Sarah Sanaghan were in grade school together, and Loya said she spoke with Sanaghan just last month.

“She was a beautiful girl. Very upbeat,” Loya said.

Recalling the 1996 crash, Loya said, “At first, (Sarah) blamed herself. It took her a long time to get over it.”

Sarah Sanaghan worked as a nurse and had a son, Loya said.

“She had a lot going for her,” Loya said, noting Sarah had “so many friends. Now she’s with her sister.”

By Dennis Sullivan, Angie Leventis Lourgos and Meredith Rodriguez

Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

3 comments

  • ANASTASIA

    IM A TWIN, AND I KNOW I WILL FEEL ALONE WITHOUT MY SISTER AND GO CRAZY. THIS IS A SAD STORY. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

  • Bambi

    I wonder if something went wrong with that Chevy Cruze.. There has been a recall on some of them for problems with the axle. The axle could go out and cause the car to crash.

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