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Community mourns loss of Sycamore High homecoming king, his mother

SYCAMORE – Shaolin Lemon wants her brother and mother back.

“I need Kal,” Lemon said Sunday.

Kal-el Sexton, who wore No. 78 on the Sycamore High School football team, was picked homecoming king and was set to graduate in the spring. He was driving his mom to work early Saturday morning when their car went off the road, crashed and was found upside down.

Sexton, 17, and his mother Dalahn S. Colley, 46, were both killed as a result of the crash on Plank Road, east of Lukens Road, with the cause still undetermined, police said.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s office confirmed on Sunday that Sexton, of the 500 block of North Strack Street in Cortland, and his mother Colley, of the same address, were killed when their vehicle left the road and rolled over at about 6 a.m. Saturday.

Sycamore District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman said the community is mourning the significant loss of Sexton.

“As a district, we’re deeply saddened by the passing of our student,” Countryman said Sunday. “He was involved in football, a member of the choir, and the sci-fi club at the high school. So the impact of his passing will be felt by not only the whole school but those groups he was deeply involved with.”

Many students who knew Sexton were posting tribute messages on social media.

Countryman said, though the district is on winter break, Sycamore High School will be open Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with counselors and support team services on hand for students, faculty and staff who would like to utilize that support in the wake of this news.

“We’re still in the process of making sure we are supporting not only the family but our students,” she said.

Lemon, and two of his friends, Davon Bishop and Ray Stallworth, are just beginning the grief process too.

“Kal was full of life,” Bishop said.

“Kal is everything I am not,” Lemon said. “Kal is patient. He is so kind and he’s a gentleman.”

“I liked to talk to him,” Stallworth said. “He was really emotionally in-tune.”

Sexton was well known and liked by his classmates at Sycamore High. A senior offensive and defensive lineman on the Spartans’ football teamr, he was known for his outgoing nature and was elected homecoming king this fall.

Lemon said, despite the cliques in high school, Sexton was friends with everybody.

Sexton’s father, Derry Sexton, said his son was wonderful.

“He was the joy of my life,” Sexton said. “He was me. He was my best friend.”

Sexton described his son as “a beautiful soul.”

Sexton also noted that Kal-el’s mother, Dalahn, was a strong woman and cherished her children.

“She loved her son,” Sexton said. “She always wanted what was best for her children.”

Lemon and Bishop also talked about Colley. Bishop said he was closer to her than his biological mother. Both of them remembered Colley as a master chef who required whatever was in the house and nothing more.

“Just give her stuff,” Lemon said about her mother. “She’ll make a meal out of nothing.”

Colley was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said he spoke to one of the deputies who responded to the fatal crash and saw that the seatbelt was operational.

“We do believe she was not wearing her seatbelt,” Scott said.

Lemon doesn’t believe Colley was riding without her seatbelt.

“I know my mom had her seatbelt on,” Lemon said. “She was a seatbelt fanatic. When she flew out that car, I believe she had her seatbelt on. It was just weak. Just like the airbag. There are airbags in the car, they just didn’t deploy.”

A Sycamore Fire Department ambulance took Colley to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Sexton, who was driving the 2006 Pontiac G6, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan said it’s not clear why the vehicle left the road.

“We don’t understand why it happened, really,” Sullivan said Sunday. “That portion of the road was actually on the straightaway. He was taking his mother to work.”

Sullivan said police investigators would be looking more closely at the Pontiac on Monday to try to determine if there was mechanical failure or some other cause. There was no indication that driver impairment was a factor, he said.

To help Lemon pay for her brother and mother’s funerals head to the GoFundMe page, which as of Sunday afternoon has raised $7,019 through the help of 137 people.

Daily Chronicle reporter Kelsey Rettke and general manager Eric Olson contributed to this report.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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