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Mar. 2 blizzard & MCSD squad crash

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Mar. 2 blizzard & MCSD squad crash

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 16, 2012

Dented Sheriff's Department Car

Remember the blizzard of March 2, only two weeks ago? I do. I headed for home at 3:30PM and canceled a trip to Marengo. It was almost impossible to see the roadway in daylight, and I decided it would be even harder at night.

Remember reading about the McHenry County Sheriff's Department squad car that was in a crash on Route 47 south of Hebron? Remember reading all the details in the paper, so that you could figure out what happened from the newspaper article? I don't, either.

I heard how it happened that Friday night, and I picked up the Crash Report on March 13.

Now I've read some sloppy crash reports, but this one gets the prize. And this one was written by the MCSD commander in charge of patrol. Of all people to write a crash report, wouldn't you think his would be a sterling example of careful report writing, if for no other reason that to set an example for the road deputies of the Department.

"Driver Unit 1 stated, in summary, that she was traveling n/b on Rt. 47 when she lost control of her vehicle and struck unit #2.
"Driver Unit #2 stated, in summary, that he was traveling s/b on Rt. 47 when he observed unit #1 loose (sic) control and enter the s/b lane of travel. Driver Unit #2 stated that unit #1 then struck his vehicle in the driver's side rear quarter pannel (sic)."

This crash report was written by Lt. John Miller #1431.

If any deputy wrote a crash report like that, he ought to get five days off and be sent to refresher crash investigation and report-writing school.

Unit 1 was the female civilian driver.
Unit 2 was the male deputy sheriff.

Watch for the article tomorrow, when I'll dissect the crash report and the photos. To whet your appetite, though, I'll tell you that the deputy's unmarked white Chevrolet took a direct hit in the left rear door and the quarter-panel above and to the front of the left rear tire. In other words, the deputy's car was nearly perpendicular to the oncoming northbound car.

The Ford Escape driven by the woman resident of Hebron had damage on the front bumper under and to the center of the right headlight, not on the right front side as drawn in the Crash Report diagram.

It occurs to me that the squad car may have been sideways across Rt. 47 when it was hit. How convenient that the Crash Report does not address that or show a diagram of the vehicles at the point of impact.

Writing the report as he did, Lt. Miller places the fault for the crash on Unit 1, the female civilian driver. Yet she was not ticketed.

How did this crash really happen?

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