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Fatal car accident in Stephenson County still under investigation

A missing stop sign appears to have played a strong role in a collision that fatally wounded a Polo High School teacher. The 32-year-old resident of Byron, Illinois, was traveling westbound in a silver 2002 Toyota. The teacher drove through the intersection, which usually has a stop sign in place, and collided with a northbound Saturn. The teacher was taken to Rockford's OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center by helicopter following the car accident.

The two occupants of the Saturn, a 56-year-old resident of Leaf River and a 19-year-old female, were taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital and listed in stable condition. Police reported that the fatal car accident was still under investigation, and they found the missing stop sign. Stephenson County highway crews noted weather damage on the stop sign after finding it in an adjacent field.

The family of the fatal car accident victim include a 21-month-old child and husband who is also a teacher at Polo High School. The community also felt the loss with many of the 2013 graduates having had the victim as an English teacher for three or four years, according to the Polo Superintendent. Grief counselors were made available to students and faculty affected by this tragic loss.

Such tragedies may make it difficult for family to return to work or even take care of themselves properly. The loss of a loved one so suddenly presents many more challenges than financial worries of how to pay for funeral expenses and final medical expenses. Regardless of any findings of fault, the family may be entitled to compensation. A wrongful death filed in civil court claim may target individuals or other parties thought to have exhibited negligence that contributed to the car accident.

Source: Rockford Register Star, "Police confirm Polo teacher was killed in crash", Jeff Kolkey, May 21, 2013

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