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Ride 'em, Cowboy!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles McHenry County, Illinois

Ride 'em, Cowboy!

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 13, 2009

Deputy John Sosnowski, Jr. probably got the ride of his life yesterday, when he flipped his squad car on Charles Road between Queen Anne and Raffel Roads. According to this morning's Northwest Herald, he hit a large rock with the right side of his car. From the photo in the paper, the car could be a goner. Deputy Sosnowski's injuries were relatively minor, but he might be stiff for a few days. Seatbelts save lives!

Many questions are unanswered in the article. What was his speed before the accident? When did he first see the rock? Did he see it? How big was the rock? Was the rock collected for evidence? Where did a large rock in the highway come from? Why isn't there more damage to the right front fender below the headlights? How far did the car travel before it stopped?

Did Trooper Robert Satkiewicz issue a ticket to Deputy Sosnowski?

Flipping a car at highway speed makes for an exciting ride. I know. When I was a kid, I flipped a 1949 Ford off a two-lane Missouri highway much like Charles Road. In my case, the ride was end-over-end - three times.

The macadam roadway was still damp after the rain ended. I had just passed a car and, as I guided my car back into my lane, there was a little bump in the road and the car got light on the shocks. The tires didn't grip the roadway enough, and my car just continued off onto the shoulder and down the embankment into a cornfield.

The left door came off and the roof crunched down over my head. After the door came off, the car slid on the left side before coming to a stop. Thanks to a friend of my older sister, I had installed a seatbelt in my car, and the lap belt held me snugly in the seat. And I was hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life! Had it not been for that seatbelt, someone else would be writing this article.

Me? All I had was a little dirt on the left sleeve of my t-shirt. Not a scratch. The angels were definitely riding with me that evening.

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