Bradley Williams Obituary: 17-year-old boy killed after being injured in a car crash in Benton, Illinois

Benton, Illinois – Bradley Scott Williams, a vibrant and free-spirited young soul, left this world at the tender age of 17 on September 16, 2023, due to injuries sustained in a tragic motor vehicle accident. He was born on May 13, 2006, in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, to Kellis Paul Williams and Jamie Nichole (Smith) Gostowski.

Three teenagers were dead and two others injured following a crash in rural Benton, Illinois. According to Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler, the three teens are 17-year-old Bradley Williams, 15-year-old Joecy Padavic and 16-year-old Landen Agnitsch.

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the Immanuel Baptist Church, 516 North Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812, with Dr. Kirk Kay and Rev. Ryan Casey officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Immanuel Baptist Church. Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, is in charge of the arrangements.

Bradley, affectionately known as Brad, was a Junior at Benton Consolidated High School and an enthusiastic member of the wrestling team. He also worked at West City McDonalds, demonstrating his eagerness to embrace life and its opportunities.

Known for his “Heart of Gold,” Brad was a free spirit who relished his independence. He found joy in the simple things—being a prankster, spending time with friends, indulging in his love for fast food at Sonic, cherishing moments of rest, and engaging in boxing matches in the basement.

Among his passions were watching WWE events, attending Cardinal Baseball games, savoring meals at Fujiyama’s, and watching his favorite movies repeatedly—The Sandlot and Home Alone. Brad took pride in driving his car and embraced the freedom it offered.

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Bradley will forever be remembered as a vibrant, happy, and free-spirited individual. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and cherished memories in the hearts of those who knew him.

He is survived by his loving mother, Jamie Gostowski of Benton, Illinois; his adoring father, Kellis Williams of Herrin, Illinois; his beloved siblings: Reese Cornelison, Hudson McCord, Chasen Cornelison, Levi Williams, Aiden and Emily Cornelison; his grandmother, Georgia Lohman of Benton, Illinois; aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous extended family members and friends who adored him.

Bradley was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Charlie and Barb Williams; maternal grandpa, Jack Lohman; uncles Scott Ezell and Chuck Karnes; and a great-aunt, Kathy Ezell.

Zeena Zaffina shared,

“There was a go fund me made yesterday in Bradley’s name. Kellis, Bradley’s father had it made and had good intentions on his part. There was a miscommunication and it wasn’t handled the way it should have been. All post have/ should be taken down. We will not be proceeding with any go fund mes other than what Benton mayor, Lee Messersmith has created on behalf of the 3 teenagers. Any further proceeds will be going to the wrestling scholarships on behalf of Bradley Scott Williams. The scholarship will be more transparent and a legal entity that will disburse the funds with protections and guarantees in Bradley’s honour to the students chosen.Derek Hood is not a scammer and was trying to be nice on behalf of Kellis. It was a communication problem that has been resolved. Please do not contact him unless it is to apologise for any mean or hurtful things that may have been said.Jamie and Kellis are truly hurting. This is, again, not what Bradley would want. He is a very loved person by everyone and we appreciate the love and support shown. We need to come together at this time instead of dividing. Please continue to surround Jamie and Kellis in this time of need and show support to both parents.”

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In memory of Brad, the family has requested that attendees wear bright-colored clothing to his services, embodying the vibrant spirit he possessed and celebrating a life that brightened the world around him. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to either the Benton or Herrin Wrestling Programs.

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