The Daily Illini

Car accident takes life of Fighting Illini wrestler Francis Edelen

University+student+and+Fighting+Illini+wrestler+Francis+Edelen+was+killed+in+a+supposed+hit-and-run+on+Interstate+57+in%C2%A0Champaign+County+Wednesday+night.
University student and Fighting Illini wrestler Francis Edelen was killed in a supposed hit-and-run on Interstate 57 in Champaign County Wednesday night.

University student and Fighting Illini wrestler Francis Edelen was killed in a supposed hit-and-run on Interstate 57 in Champaign County Wednesday night.

Photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

Photo courtesy of Fighting Illini Athletics

University student and Fighting Illini wrestler Francis Edelen was killed in a supposed hit-and-run on Interstate 57 in Champaign County Wednesday night.

By Eli Schuster, Sports Editor

Redshirt-sophomore wrestler Francis Edelen was killed in a hit-and-run on Interstate 57 in Champaign County on March 21. Edelen, 21, was from Oak Forest, Illinois.

After being behind the wheel for a two-car accident, Edelen got out of his vehicle and was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was a pedestrian along the roadway. He died from multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Champaign County Coroner’s Office.

The Illinois State Police is investigating the incident as a fatal hit-and-run and is asking for any information on the vehicle that was involved in the crash.

Illinois wrestling coach Jim Heffernan released a statement in a press release Thursday morning.

“This is shocking news for our team and coaching staff as no words can truly reflect the emotions that we are going through at this time,” Heffernan said. “Francis was a productive member of our program. We are extremely saddened by this news. We just released this news to our team, so the healing process after the loss of a teammate and friend has just begun.”

Director of Athletics Josh Whitman also gave his thoughts.

“Our hearts are broken by the news of Francis Edelen’s passing,” Whitman said. “Losing someone so early in his life when he has so much yet to experience and to give is a tragedy of the highest order. Our thoughts are with Francis’ family and friends. We will come together and draw strength from each other as an Illini family during this difficult time.”

The accident is still under investigation and The Daily Illini will continue to report on the incident.

@Schuster_Elias

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About the Writer
Eli Schuster, Sports Editor

My name is Elias Schuster, and I am extremely happy to be in the sports editor role here at The Daily Illini. I am currently a senior here at the University studying journalism and have a strong passion for sports. For the past three years, I have worked at the DI producing digital content. I have covered both Illinois football and basketball for the last three seasons and previously held the sports video editor title. A little background on me, I am originally from a suburb outside Chicago called Vernon Hills, Illinois. Growing up outside a sports-centric city quickly made me fall in love with the sports world. It also made me quickly fall in love with deep dish pizza, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, if you have any questions or comments about anything at all, please feel free to contact me. Oh, and keep up to date with all the latest news via twitter @Schuster _Elias and @di_sports.

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