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A photo of a flare?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

A photo of a flare?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 3, 2012


The Northwest Herald published a photograph of a road flare from the scene of a single-vehicle fatal crash Tuesday night east of Huntley. The best they can do is a photo of a flare?

Without getting into gory details of the crash that killed one 20-year-old Algonquin woman and put three other young adults in the hospital, the paper certainly could have informed readers better. Let's say, a photo of the westbound roadway, surface and shoulder where the crash occurred. Or even of the 2004 Hyundai Elantra from which all four were ejected.

There is something about the sight of a mangled car that cause drivers and passengers to think about the importance of seatbelts and safe vehicle operation.

What is it with kids today that they believe they don't need to wear seatbelts in moving vehicles? Aside from the fact, of course, the Illinois law now requires all to be buckled up, even backseat passengers. All four went flying from the vehicle as it rolled. According to newspaper stories, two were "thrown quite a distance." They were indeed lucky to be found by rescue personnel.

I know about roll-over, rural crashes. I had one. And I had my seatbelt on. And it was way before seatbelts were even offered in cars. It saved my life, because the seatbelt kept me inside the car. Every year I look at the photos of that crash and appreciate the now-deceased friend of my older sister, from whom I got the idea for installing a seatbelt.

The police have to know who owns the Hyundai. Not even that is reported yet. Knowing the name on the title doesn't necessarily mean that person, or a family member, was driving it. But it's a starting place.

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