University of Illinois wrestler killed in hit-and-run

Illinois is home to many fine public universities, including our own Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. To our northeast sits the state’s biggest seat of higher education: the University of Illinois with its Champaign-Urbana campus.

The prestigious school recently suffered a shock when a member of its wrestling team was killed in a car accident that law enforcement officials describe as a hit-and-run. Twenty-one-year-old Francis Edelen was killed in a crash on Interstate 57 near Rantoul, according to news reports.

Edelen was driving on the highway at about 9:40 pm this past Wednesday. He was involved in a crash with another vehicle. The wrestler than walked from that crash for unknown reasons. As he walked in the right lane, he was struck by a vehicle.

The driver of that vehicle then drove away, police said.

The University of Illinois wrestling coach said the news was “shocking” and that Edelen was a valued member of the team. He said the team had been informed of the tragedy and that the healing process had begun.

The school president said his thoughts are with Edenlen’s family and friends.

We do not yet know why the wrestler walked away from the scene of the initial crash. It is possible that he was disoriented or injured. We do know there is no excuse whatsoever for the driver who then struck and killed Edelen to flee the scene.

It is possible that the driver was impaired or distracted at the time of the crash and hoped to evade responsibility for the young man’s violent death.

If you or your family has been harmed in accident caused by an impaired or distracted driver, contact an attorney experienced in pursuit of full compensation for all damages.