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Crash at Woodstock North H.S.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Crash at Woodstock North H.S.

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 5, 2009

Woodstock North High School Crash Woodstock North High School Crash

At about 10:40AM today a northbound car on Raffel Road left the road just south of Woodstock North High School and traveled through grass and across a rock drainage area on its way to a bumpy landing on the median of the entrance driveway. I happened to drive by very shortly after it happened.

The car must have been traveling at a pretty high rate of speed to travel as far as it did (approximately 400 feet) before coming to a stop, facing roughly northwest on the median of the driveway. Tire marks on the curb and tire tracks in the grass and weeds clearly showed the path of the vehicle. (Click on the image to enlarge it; then click on the Back button on your browser to return to the story.)

After parking out of the way on Haydn St., I walked the two blocks back to the high school driveway entrance. As I arrived, a paramedic or fireman was carrying a small child in a car safety seat to the ambulance parked on the street. The child, who appeared to be about 12-15 months old. was awake and alert, and he was looking around, not crying and not looking particularly scared. He would have just had a wild ride, and his little spirit had to be asking, "Whoa, Mom. What was that all about???"

I was taking some pictures from the street, when I was confronted by a man wearing a safety vest. I could not tell from any uniform what his role was, but he ordered me not to take any pictures "of her", apparently referring to the driver of the car. I told him I couldn't even see the driver, but he continued to insist. He demanded my credentials, which I had failed to put in my pocket this morning. I told him I was on a public street, and I was not in the way. Then he ordered me up the street a certain distance. I asked him twice for his name, and both times he refused to identify himself. No doubt Chief Webster will be able to figure out who he is.

The car, a white SUV, was badly mangled on the front right. The hood also was damaged and the windshield was broken. I hope the driver was belted in tightly; if so, she would have had a wild ride but should have survived the ride. If she was unbuckled, she probably got banged around pretty badly.

Parents: check those child safety seats. Stop at the next safety inspection you see and ask a paramedic or police officer to inspect the installation of the car safety seat. About 70% of the child safety seats are improperly fastened. The child survived today because he stayed in his seat and the safety seat stayed fastened to the car seat.

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