School community mourns death of Jefferson County, IL teen

Amanda Peyton (Courtesy: Newell Funeral Home)
Amanda Peyton (Courtesy: Newell Funeral Home)

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

JEFFERSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - A Heartland student's death shakes a school community.

Amanda Peyton, 18, died Saturday in car crash.  She was a senior at Mount Vernon Township High School.

Principle Ron Daniels said students gathered at the flagpole to share memories of Peyton and prayers for her family Monday morning.  He said a moment of silence followed at an already planned school assembly.  Daniels added school counselors were also on hand and spoke to students in Peyton's classes.

About 1,350 students attend Mount Vernon High School.  While not all knew Peyton, Daniels said many students called her a friend and are extremely sadden by her death.

"A lot of students you can just tell, many stopping by to see counselors," Daniels said.  "Our consolers also put together a kind of wall of remembrance for students to sign their name and write a note.  That sheet of paper will be given to her parents of the girl."

Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch said Peyton was thrown from a blazer on Davis Road.  He said the SUV rolled and trapped Peyton underneath around 12:30 Saturday afternoon.  Mulch says the initial investigation shows possible inexperience of the driver coupled with spring road conditions might have caused the crash.

The driver, a 16-year-old male, was taken Good Samaritan Hospital.  He has since been released.  Deputies cited the 16 year old for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.  Mulch said both teens did not have their seat belts on.  The crash is still under investigation.

Funeral services for Peyton will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Newell Funeral Home in Mount Vernon.  Principal Daniels said students are allowed to attend the service with prior permission.

Add to all this tragedy, Peyton was set to graduate from Mount Vernon High School in just more than a month.

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