Graham W Fath, of unincorporated Schaumburg, Illinois, died at about 9 PM, Sunday night, March 11, when the car he was driving on Wiley Road near his home drove onto the wrong side of the street and left the road before striking a utility pole and catching fire. Graham, who had been recognized for heroism in a river rescue five years ago, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 16.
The Chicago Tribune reported that speed was believed to be a factor in the crash, which involved no other vehicles. Mr Fath was ejected from the 2010 Subaru Outback he was driving. Schaumburg Police are said to be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.
When he was just 11, he and three other boys reportedly helped two Aurora police officers rescue two rafters from a dam on the Vermilion River near Oglesby. The Illinois Conservation Police awarded all six rescuers the Carnegie Hero Award from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission at a a village board meeting in 2015.
Graham was a member of the school’s band and several other student organizations. “The Conant community is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of one of our students,” Principal Julie Nowak wrote in a statement. “Graham was an active member of our band and a student broadcaster for sporting events, along with participating in several other activities. He was also involved in the Hoffman Estates Police Explorer Program.”