Passages: Kendall Pickering, Illinois High School Swimmer, Dies in Car Accident

Photo Courtesy: Competitor

Kendall Pickering, a rising star at Hinsdale Central High School in Illinois, and her father Robert Pickering died in a car accident Tuesday. Pickering, a sophomore, was 15 years old.

The accident occurred while the two were traveling on Interstate 85 near Kannapolis, North Carolina. The one-car accident that led to the deaths of both father and daughter remains under investigation.

Kendall Pickering just finished her sophomore season at Hindsdale Central. She won two events at an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sectional in October, one of 16 sectional meets in the state. Pickering won the 200 individual medley in 2:03.35, the 100 butterfly in 55.03 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.44. She was ranked by SwimCloud as the fourth-best girls swimming recruit in the Class of 2023 in Illinois.

“I’ve known her almost my whole life and just couldn’t believe it when my mom told me what had happened,” Baileigh Racky, a long-time friend of Pickering, told the Chicago Tribune. “She loved her friends and loved swimming. She wanted to be in the Olympics.”

Hinsdale Central principal William Walsh released a statement on Pickering’s passing:

It is with deep and profound sadness that I inform you of the tragic passing of Kendall Pickering and her father Robert. Kendall was a beloved member of our school community whose strong work ethic, tireless dedication and passionate leadership helped her shine in the classroom and excel in the pool. Most importantly, she was a wonderful student, classmate, teammate and friend who left an indelible mark on all of us. We will miss her terribly, and always remember her with great fondness and affection.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Kim Tijunelis

    Oh, how the universe has no reason. Sending love and hugs to her loving mother Kim and her family, to her friends and teammates. To know Kendall was to know the stars. She was a bright face on deck and will be missed.