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Haligus Road Accident Update

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Haligus Road Accident Update

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 29, 2008

Back on December 13, 2007, about six weeks after an accident on Haligus Road claimed the lives of two Marian Catholic Central High School students, the McHenry County Sheriff's Police had not issued any tickets to the driver of the car involved in the single-car accident. The Department was reportedly awaiting lab tests (toxicology reports) before deciding on charges.

This is a position with which I do not agree. The accident happened. No other vehicle was involved. Certainly, the sheriff's department could issue appropriate initial tickets. Later, after receiving toxicology reports, they could add charges, if warranted. The reason given to me for not doing so was "double jeopardy."

I was told then that the Illinois State Police was running about three months behind on toxicology tests.

On February 14 I telephoned Sheriff's Sgt. Carolyn Hubbard and left a message for her with a male deputy who answered her phone and told me that she would return my call the next day.

After waiting two weeks, this morning I telephoned Sgt. Hubbard and left a message for her directly in her own voice mailbox. In the absence of a return call from February 14 and no return call today, it is beginning to appear that the sheriff's department does not want to release information.

The next logical step is to file a Freedom of Information Request with the Sheriff's Department for this information. Failure to return phone calls seems like an unnecessary and unprofessional roadblock but, if they want to play the game that way, it's okay with me. FOIA Requests are expensive and time-consuming for a law enforcement agency to handle. How much simpler it would have been for the officer in charge of the case just to return the call.

The accident was four months ago. Far, far too much time has elapsed without charges being filed for that accident. What could possibly be the reason for such a delay?

Unreturned phone calls are nothing new to me when dealing with the Sheriff's Dept. Two calls have been placed to Det. Cruz for information on the ICE Unit, and neither call has been returned. Guess I'll be sending two FOIA Requests, not one.

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