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Husband of Polo teacher killed in car crash is suing the Stephenson County Sheriff's Department

Sarah Kamp
Sarah Kamp

The husband of a Polo High School teacher who died of the injuries she suffered in a vehicle crash in May is suing the Stephenson County Sheriff's Department.

Jason Kamp, Byron, filed a lawsuit Sept. 13 in Stephenson County claiming a dispatcher's oversight contributed to the death of his wife Sarah, 32, who was pregnant with the couple's second child when she died.

Kamp, represented by Rockford attorney Timothy S. Mahoney, is seeking $4 million in damages for wrongful death. 

Sarah Kamp died at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, where she was airlifted after a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Montague and Rock City Roads on the Ogle-Stephenson county line just after 7 a.m. on May 20.

At the time of the crash, Illinois State Police said the stop sign was not in place that controls traffic on Montague Road at the intersection with Rock City Road when the crash occurred. Traffic on Rock City Road is not required to stop.

A strong storm the night before apparently blew the sign into a nearby field.

Police said Kamp was driving westbound on Montague Road and proceeded into the intersection without stopping.

Her silver Toyota collided with a white Saturn driven by Barbara Faulkner, 56, Leaf River, who was northbound on Rock City Road.

According to the lawsuit, a resident who lives near the intersection called 911 to report the missing sign at 5:51 a.m.

The Stephenson County dispatcher who took the call assured the neighbor that the sign would be taken care of, the document says.

The lawsuit alleges that the dispatcher then took another unrelated call and "forgot about" the missing stop sign.

"There was a shift change at 6 a.m. and no one was ever alerted that there had been a problem with the stop sign," the lawsuit says.

Because of the storm, the lawsuit goes on to allege, the Stephenson County Highway Department went to work at 6 a.m., an hour earlier than normal, to check for downed signs.

"Has the call been transferred to the proper agency in this case, the Stephenson County Highway Department, the highway department would have been available to replace the stop sign at the intersection of Montague and Rock City Road," the lawsuit says.

According to the document, Sarah was on her way to an appointment with her obstetrician in Freeport when the crash occurred.

At the time of her death Sarah taught sophomore and senior English at Polo High School, where her husband teaches physics and chemistry.

The couple have a two-year-old son.