Normal West and its softball team seek normalcy as they grieve for Livi Sonetz

Olivia Sonetz tribute
Friends paid tribute to Olivia Sonetz at the scene of Tuesday’s crash. (Photo courtesy WMBD-TV)

By Howard Packowitz and Eric Stock

NORMAL – Students and staff at Normal West High School wore blue on Thursday to honor Olivia Sonetz, who died from injuries she suffered in a Tuesday evening car crash near Normal.

Blue was Livi’s favorite color, according to Principal Dave Johnson. He said the cafeteria and hallways looked like a sea of blue.

Friday, kids and staff were asked to wear white signifying that Livi was an organ donor.

Normal West is easing back into a normal routine, according to Johnson, although some people will continue to receive support even as they grieve for the 17-year old senior.

“Our softball students are students who were very close to Livi here at school, and so we still have those same services of guidance counselors and even ISU comfort dogs. (The dogs) were here anyway as part of the curriculum in psychology class, (and) were able to help out and add that extra comfort and support to those students,” Johnson said.

The principal added Livi would have wanted her softball teammates to get back into a routine. Their season starts next Thursday.

“The softball season is starting soon, and I think the coach and the team know it’s going to be a hard thing, but again, starting to get back to routines is exactly what Livi would want the team to do,” Johnson also said.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at

Eric Stock can be reached at


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