17-year-old charged in crash that killed Fairview Heights teen

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged a Swansea teen Friday for his role in a collision in Belleville that claimed the life of a 15-year-old.

The collision took place November 27 around 10:25 p.m. in the 2100 block of Lebanon Avenue.

St. Clair County sheriff’s deputies found a 2018 Chevy Malibu off the road with four teen boys inside. The vehicle had run off the north side of the road, smashed through a fence, and struck a tree in the backyard of a residence on Las Olas Drive.

The front seat passenger, identified as Kevin Patterson, was taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Illinois where he later died from his injuries.

The 18-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and two juveniles in the backseat were uninjured.

Investigators learned the Malibu had been struck from behind by a 2008 Dodge Ram truck, which left the scene after the accident.

Deputies eventually located the truck that rear-ended the Malibu and learned two people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash: a 17-year-old male driver and a 16-year-old female passenger.

The driver, William Cook, was charged with felony reckless homicide. Due to the severity of the case, Cook can be tried and sentenced as an adult.

Prosecutors said Cook is expected to turn himself over to authorities at the county jail.