Minor Crash of 2 Vehicles Progresses to a Serious Crash of 1 of the Vehicles into a Utility Pole in Lake County

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Lake County Sheriff’s Traffic Crash Investigators are investigating a Saturday afternoon traffic crash that involved two vehicles in two locations. The second crash likely resulted from a driver pressing the accelerator instead of the brake pedal immediately after the first crash occurred.

First the two vehicles impacted in a minor crash at Route 41 and Stearns School Road in Warren Township in Lake County, but the driver in one of the vehicles continued from the first location to a second location that involved a serious crash with a utility pole near Stearns School Road and Fuller Road in Gurnee.

Gurnee police officers and firefighters and paramedics from Gurnee Fire Station 1 were dispatched about 2:15 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2024 to the vehicle versus traffic pole traffic crash with injuries on Stearns School Road near Fuller Road in Gurnee. Upon arrival police, firefighters and paramedics discovered a Toyota RAV4 with significant damage crashed into a utility pole. The pole was broken, but no wires were down.

A second ambulance from Newport Township Fire Protection District was assigned to the scene about 2:26 p.m.

Both the driver and passenger in the RAV4 were transported to an area hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries. The Kia Forte was discovered with minor damage nearby at Stearns School Road and Route 41. The driver of the Forte did not initially report any injuries.

The intersection of Stearns School Road and Fuller Road is about 600 feet west of the intersection of Stearns School Road and Route 41.

Preliminary investigation shows a Toyota RAV4, driven by an 88-year-old woman of Gurnee, was heading southbound on Route 41, and the driver was attempting to make a right turn onto westbound Stearns School Road.

A 20 year-old female driver of a Kia Forte from Richmond was northbound on Route 41, attempting to make a left turn onto westbound Stearns School Road. Witnesses reported the traffic light turned from green, to yellow, to red, and both drivers of the vehicles made their respective turns, but turned into one another, causing a crash with relatively minor damage.

While continuing the preliminary investigation, Gurnee police officers determined a separate crash involving the Toyota RAV4 initially occurred at Route 41 and Stearns School Road in an unincorporated area in Warren Township in Lake County. Since the Route 41 and Stearns School Road intersection is within the sheriff’s office jurisdiction, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene.

According to an 89 year-old male passenger from Gurnee in the RAV4, the driver of the RAV4 then pressed the accelerator, instead of the brake, causing the RAV4 to accelerate to a high speed. The driver of the RAV4 lost control and struck a utility pole near the intersection of Stearns School and Fuller Road.

The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team.



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