Kankakee Valley High School junior killed in crash

Vehicle hits tree in fog
2010-05-23T00:05:00Z Kankakee Valley High School junior killed in crashBy Sarah Tompkins - sarah.tompkins@nwi.com, (219) 836-3780 nwitimes.com

A Kankakee Valley High School junior was killed in a single-vehicle crash on a foggy county road early Saturday in DeMotte, the Jasper County coroner said.

Taylor Cavinder, 16, was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree at 1100 N. County Road 1100 West about 2 a.m., said Jasper County Coroner Andrew Boersma. Cavinder was pronounced dead at the scene at about 3:15 a.m., he said.

Because the Wheatfield student was under 18, Boersma said Indiana law requires that a pathologist examine the body before a cause of death is released.

Cavinder's parents declined comment Saturday.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Department said a news release will be issued Sunday morning.

Boersma said it was "terribly foggy" Saturday morning.

"When I went over there this morning at like 2:35 or 2:40, it was absolutely horrendous," he said. "Twenty miles per hour was too fast."

It is not known to whom the vehicle belonged, who was driving or how many passengers were inside at the time of the accident.

Cavinder was a starter on her high school softball team, playing catcher, first base and the outfield, said her coach, Brian Flynn.

"She was a real happy kid, always having fun, always cutting up," Flynn said.

The team was scheduled to start sectional games Tuesday, he said, though it was not known Saturday if that schedule would change because of Cavinder's death.

On her MySpace page, Cavinder described herself as laughing at every joke, even if it was not the funniest.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on!" she wrote.

Flynn said he had known Cavinder since elementary school.

"You spend time with people, and you impact their life and they impact your life," he said. "Everyday good people come in and out of our lives, and it's up to us to appreciate what we have."

Times staff writer Jim Peters contributed to this story.

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