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Driver out of Hospital for 3 Weeks

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Driver out of Hospital for 3 Weeks

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 22, 2007

What are taxpayers supporting, when police agencies cannot investigate accidents and complete reports, so that they can move on to the next accident?

The Haligus Road accident involving four Marian Central High School students happened on Friday, October 26, four weeks ago tomorrow. Seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Or maybe just yesterday?

On October 27 (the day after the accident) the Northwest Herald reported that Sheriff’s Sgt. Karen Groves said that “toxicology reports revealed that drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the crash.” I immediately questioned how such test results could be available so quickly.

Earlier this week I contacted Northwest Herald Editor Chris Krug to ask if they would be following up on this accident. Imagine my surprise to read in today’s paper that the driver of the vehicle, Eva Grys, was released from the hospital on November 4, THREE weeks ago. And yet there was no follow-up that was reported.

In today’s Northwest Herald article Sheriff’s Sgt. Carolyn Hubbard says that the crash is still under investigation and that no charges have been filed. Why not?

Sgt. Hubbard also indicated that they are waiting for “some” information to come back, including toxicology reports. When will the toxicology reports be available?

Exactly what “toxicology” results were available the next day? The Sheriff's Department needs to be more specific. On what grounds did the Sheriff’s Department, through Sgt. Groves, so quickly inform the public that drugs or alcohol were not a factor?

While I have no reason to suspect drugs or alcohol, or their after-effects, to be a factor in a Friday morning accident of a high school student, they can only be ruled out by thorough tests. My hope is that toxicology test results will be negative.

Still, is there really a good reason that the Sheriff’s Department cannot complete its investigation, issue the requisite ticket(s) and close its file? It probably could have completed it on the day of the accident or the next day. “Driver left roadway onto steep sloping shoulder. Driver apparently over-corrected and returned to road, crossing in front of oncoming truck.” Write a ticket for failure to maintain control of vehicle. End of report.

Let the insurance companies and lawyers fight about it from there.

Is it any wonder that the budget of the Sheriff’s Department is out-of-sight? How many training seminars do accident investigators have to attend (and where?) to drag out reports and keep cases open for weeks and months?

If more information becomes available later on, then supplementary reports and additional tickets can follow.

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