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Crash victim remembered as a fun-loving teen

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 6:36 a.m. CST

CAMPTON HILLS – Erin Shore remembers Zachary Bingham as a likable, fun-loving person.

Bingham, 18, of Maple Park, died Saturday after his vehicle was struck head-on by a 30-year-old Wisconsin woman who allegedly was driving recklessly and at speeds of greater than 100 mph.

After the collision, a Facebook page was created in Bingham’s memory. By Monday, hundreds of people joined the page, sharing their thoughts and prayers for Bingham’s family.

“Bad things happen to good people; very unexpected things,” the “about” section said. “You were loved by so many people, and prayers and thoughts will be [given] to you.”

Shore, who was Bingham’s counselor at Kaneland High School, said Bingham was a welding student at Elgin Community College. Shore said Bingham was part of the high school’s Fox Valley Career Center and was successful in working with his hands.

“He had a very likable nature,” she said. “He was just a fun-loving kid. ... He had just a really large group of friends.”

Bingham graduated last spring, and Shore said he still had a lot of friends at Kaneland High School. The school’s crisis team met Monday to try to figure out how to reach out to students without causing more stress. A lot of staff members also were in mourning.

“It really goes to show how much he impacted the people around him,” Shore said.

Jennifer Liston, of the 3100 block of Old Gate Road, Madison, Wis., was passing a car about 8:45 p.m. when she hit Bingham’s Grand Am in the 42W700 block of Route 38, authorities said. Liston was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bingham later was flown to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, where police said he was pronounced dead.

Before the fatal collision, Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said an on-duty deputy briefly pursued Liston’s vehicle with lights and sirens as it was heading west on Route 38. He said the deputy decided to stop pursuit because at the time, police didn’t know the circumstances of the reckless driver.

“We didn’t know who it was or why they were driving like that,” he said. “... You’re not going to initiate a pursuit in that circumstance.”

Gengler said trying to stop her could have potentially been more dangerous.

“In this case, somebody chose to drive like she was driving,” he said. “Her decision unfortunately caused a lot of problems that night.”

A hit-and-run collision Liston was involved with before the fatal collision caused about $1,500 in damage to a vehicle in Geneva. Cmdr. Julie Nash with the Geneva Police Department said that accident happened in the 1300 block of West State Street, which is near Kaneville Road. Liston was driving west and went into the eastbound lane, hitting a moving car. She left the scene, police said, and there were no injuries.

Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman said an autopsy was performed Monday, and Liston’s toxicology results won’t be available for a while. He did not have details on the stolen car Liston was driving.

• Shaw Media reporter Ashley Rhodebeck contributed to this report.

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