State Briefs 10/14/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Man suffers life-threatening injuries after being dragged by car

ROCKFORD — A 21-year-old man is suffering from life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car early Tuesday morning and dragged several blocks.

At 2 a.m., police were flagged down in reference to a serious hit-and-run crash.

Witnesses told police that a man was struck by a vehicle in the street in front of the Office Tap Bar and dragged away. When officers arrived, the vehicle and victim were gone.

Minutes later, police responded to a call of a person lying in the street.  Police identified the man and determined he was the victim of the earlier hit-and-run. The victim was taken to SwedishAmerican Hospital by the Rockford Fire Department. The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of family.

Witnesses describe the fleeing vehicle as a light blue or green, older model two-door, possibly a Mitsubishi Eclipse or Plymouth Laser. Witnesses say the vehicle might have been occupied by two subjects.

The circumstances of the accident remain under investigation.

Rockford Register Star

Woman killed in collision with semi

WOODRUFF CORNERS – A 27-year-old Rockford woman was killed Tuesday morning in a two-vehicle collision on U.S. 20.

According to Illinois State Police, the crash occurred at 6:38 a.m. just after a semitrailer made a U-turn on the highway near Bolen Road, in Stephenson County near the Winnebago County line.

An eastbound Nissan sedan, pulling over a hill in the road just west of where vehicles collided, drove into the back of the semi, police said.

The driver of the Nissan, Karina Gutierrez of Rockford, was pronounced dead at Rockford Memorial Hospital, police said. Gutierrez’s passenger, her 3-year-old daughter, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

The driver of the semi, Scott Mitchell, 46, of Lockport, was ticketed for improper U-turn, police said. Mitchell was heading west on the highway when he made the U-turn to change direction, Illinois State Police Trooper Brent Massingill said.

Rockford Register Star

Teen arrested for setting fires at high school

MACHESNEY PARK – A Harlem High School student is in police custody and has been charged with arson, burglary and property damage after confessing to starting two fires at the school.

The student, a 15-year-old boy, broke into the school through a back door Tuesday morning. Winnebago County Sheriff’s Lt. Rocco Wagner said the student tried to spread the fire around the school, but the fire was small and put itself out.

Police responded to the high school at 4:30 a.m. after an alarm went off, surrounded the building and caught the boy as he ran out.

The school was closed because the student used chemicals from the science classroom to start the fire. The Hazardous Material officials need to ensure that the school is safe. Employees have not been allowed in the building.

The school has also had a bomb threat this year. During a search of the school after the threat, a handgun was found in a locker.

Rockford Register Star

Rash of catalytic converter thefts in Peoria

PEORIA — More residents reported Monday their trucks were stripped of catalytic converters during the weekend, adding to four similar thefts at Peoria businesses reported earlier.

An employee at Fastenal reported two company pickup trucks were damaged as a thief or thieves cut the catalytic converters, valued at $400, from the vehicles.

The pollution-reducing car part, which contains valuable metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium, was also cut from a truck belonging to Reyna Roman  as the vehicle was parked in a lot.

The thefts at Fastenal occurred between 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Monday, while the theft from Roman's truck occurred between noon Saturday and 6:20 p.m. Monday.

Two businesses reported on Saturday that two delivery trucks from each business had been stripped of the devices.

Journal Star, Peoria