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 Laurel Elizabeth Erb

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Laurel Elizabeth Erb

Laurel Erb, a 2003 graduate of Wheaton Academy, died in a late-night collision in Grant County, Indiana.

Laurel had deep faith in God and loved ceramic art. She also loved photography and making hand-made dolls. She displayed her love for God through her art.

She was among a group of students and employees from Taylor University traveling back to campus in a van that was hit by a tractor-trailer about 10 miles north of campus. Taylor is a small evangelical Christian school of 1,900 students in Upland, Ind., northeast of Indianapolis.

Authorities said the truck crashed through the median about 8 p.m. and slammed into the van. The impact peeled up the side of the van and threw passengers from the vehicle.

Three other students and a university employee also were killed.

Those who knew her described her as a quiet but warm person who always wanted to help. She was studying art and planned to be a graphic designer after graduation.

Laurel was the eldest of three children. She has a younger brother, Dan, who is a senior at Wheaton, and a 12-year-old sister, Alexandria.

The crash occurred around 8 p.m. as two vans from Taylor were returning to the school's Upland campus from Fort Wayne. The group had been working on an inauguration celebration for university President Eugene Habecker.

The other victims killed in the crash were Elizabeth Smith, Laura J. VanRyn, Bradley Larson and Monica Felver.

Laurel was one of the victims in the horrific accident that made world news when it was discovered that the county coroner had mistaken the identities of Laura VanRyn and Whitney Cerak, a Michigan woman also attending Taylor University and who was also involved in the accident. Whitney had survived the crash but was initally reported deceased and buried in Fairview Cemetery, in Gaylord, Michigan. It was later determind when family members became suspicious and dental records were compared that Whitney Cerak was alive and being cared for in a Grand Rapids, Michigan Hopsital and it was in fact, Laura VanRyn buried in Cerak's grave.

Thank you Kelly Huff for sponsoring this memorial.


  • Created by: Tombstoner & Family
  • Added: 28 Apr 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 14107711
  • Kelly LaCombe Milano
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Laurel Elizabeth Erb (19 Jun 1985–26 Apr 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14107711, citing North Cemetery, Saint Charles, Kane County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Tombstoner & Family (contributor 46631930) .