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Accident Investigation - Stalled?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Accident Investigation - Stalled?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 31, 2008

On October 26, 2007, an accident occurred on Haligus Road that involved two fatalities and two serious injuries.

In five months the McHenry County Sheriff's Department has not been able to decide on any traffic charges. Not any. Not even one. What's going on?

In response to my March 3rd FOIA request, the sheriff's department sent only a copy of the preliminary accident report. Although I had requested toxicology test results and information about any ticket(s) issued, the sheriff's department failed to comply with that portion of the FOIA Request.

In December the sheriff's department had advised that toxicology results were delayed because the Illinois State Police Crime Lab was 90 days behind. Ninety days would put delivery of the test results out to about the end of January. That came and went. The end of February came and went.

On March 25 I called Sgt. Hubbard again for an update. She did not even have the courtesy to return the call; she also did not return calls on February 14 and February 29.

In a conversation with the Press Information Officer of the Illinois State Police, I learned that the Crime Lab is still running about 90 days behind. I could not learn the date when they received the specimens to be tested or the date when they delivered the results to the sheriff's department, but it surely seemed to me that the sheriff's department has got the results. And my guess is that they have had them for about two months.

What are they waiting for? Were the tests positive? Are they going to the Grand Jury for charges?

What's really going on here? Basic charges for the accident should have been filed within a week of the accident. All reports indicate the driver ran off the road, causing the accident. Charges can always be upgraded, when new information (testing results) so indicates.

Why is the McHenry County Sheriff's Department sitting on this one?

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