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Slippery roads lead to three crashes in 30 minutes

Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 2:46 p.m. CDT
Caption
Ill. 26 just north of Polo was closed temporarily Monday afternoon when a semi- tractor and trailor jacknifed across two lanes on the railroad bridge. Photo by Earleen Hinton

Slippery road conditions at midday Monday contributed to three crashes within a half hour on the west side of the Ogle County.

A light mist accompanied by temperatures just below freezing and a strong breeze slickened roadways and especially bridges just after noon.

In the first of the crashes, a semi tractor and trailer jack-knifed on a slippery bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks on Ill. 26 at the north edge of Polo at 12:09 p.m.

"The bridge had just begun to ice over," said Polo Police Chief Dennis Christen.

The semi driver, Haile Y. Woldemicheal, 46, Seattle, Wash., was driving north on Ill. 26 when he lost control on the icy road, Christen said, and struck a newly installed guardrail.

The bridge was replaced during the summer, and construction was completed less than a week ago.

Woldemicheal was not injured, and no tickets were issued.

The road was closed for two hours while the semi, owned by SENI Trucking, Inc., Houston, Texas, was removed from the scene by Maggio's Towing, Rockford. The semi trailer was empty, Christen said.

The Polo Fire Department and ambulance assisted at the scene.

Fifteen minutes later, 2 Leaf River residents were injured in a one-vehicle rollover in the 9,000 block of North Ill. 26 near the intersection with Pit Road north of Forreston.

Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn said a pick-up truck driven by Jimmie Bradley, 61, was northbound on Ill. 26 when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the icy roadway.

The truck skidded across the highway and struck a guardrail which caused it to roll over onto its roof. The crash occurred at 12:24 p.m.

Bradley was extricated from the vehicle by Forreston firefighters and transported by Forreston ambulance to Freeport Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.

His passenger Lori K. Ashley, 54, was also transported by Forreston ambulance to Freeport Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.

Forreston Police also assisted at the scene.

Another 15 minutes after that, a car driven by Dana L. Schrader, 20, Shannon, hit a patch of ice while crossing a bridge on Ill. 64 near the intersection with Elkhorn Road, approximately a mile and a half east of the Carroll County line. 

Illinois State Police said the car went out of control, hit a guardrail head-on on the north side of the road, spun twice, and came to rest on the south shoulder. The crash occurred at 12:39 p.m.

Schrader, who was wearing a seatbelt, was not injured, and no citations were issued.

The Polo Fire Department and ambulance and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources assisted at the scene.

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