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Route 23 shut down

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Route 23 shut down

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 3, 2012

Avoid Ill. Route 23 this morning between Harvard and Marengo. Apparently, a snow plow and a school bus tangled near Dunham Road this morning, and the road is shut down while injuries are handled and vehicles are to be moved.

There were numerous crashes last night, including a McHenry County Sheriff's Departtment unmarked Chevrolet Impala. Information is vague at this time and unreported by the Northwest Herald this morning.

A deputy lieutenant apparently attempted a U-turn last evening and was involved in a two-car crash on Ill. Route 47 near O'Brien Road. That's just south of Hebron, Ill. The same deputy reported slid off Allendale Road and had to be pulled back onto the road just prior to the crash on Route 47.

The deputy lietenant was overheard on the sheriff's-band radio saying that he assumed that the Illinois State Police would be "too busy" to respond to his crash, and a more senior MCSD command officer said he would respond to take the report. Why didn't they call Hebron PD to respond and take the crash report?

There is a reason for wanting a more independent crash investigation. Not saying it will happen in this case, but in far too many cases the civilian driver ends up with the ticket and the cop or deputy is not ticketed, even if clearly at fault.

The civilian driver in that crash last night is invited to contact me and tell his or her side of the story. Did the deputy attempt a u-turn on a slick roadway with insufficient sight lines by approaching drivers? Was visibility low due to blowing snow and darkness? Did the unmarked MCSD car have any emergency lights side-mounted to be visible to oncoming drivers when the car was crossways in the roadway?

How long would it take to make a u-turn on an extremely slick two-lane State highway? The shoulder would be unusable, meaning a three-point or five-point turn would be needed to turn around. Add slick roads, and you add turning time. In what condition were the tires on the Impala?

Was a thorough and fair crash investigation made? If the crash was the deputy's fault, did the commander ticket his lieutenant?

Can the State Police in District 2 be counted on to investigate crashes fairly and ticket the driver at-fault, even if it's the deputy? In the past ten years, has a trooper ever ticketed a cop who was at-fault in a crash? Do they give breaks to deputies that they don't give to civilian drivers?

Contrary to popular belief among some people, I don't have it in for deputies who get involved in crashes. But, if they caused the crash, then they ought to get a ticket. Just like anyone else.

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