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Motorcycle accident takes life of Illinois Freedom Ride founder

Police are continuing to investigate a motorcycle accident that claimed the life of Anthony R. Cutrano, one of the co-founders of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run and the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial in Marseilles on May 27, 2012. Authorities reported that Cutrano was driving eastbound on U.S. 6 north of Bluff Road outside Seneca in Grundy County, an area sometimes called Halterman Hill, at about 3:00 p.m.

Preliminary accident reports revealed that Cutrano approached an inclined curve and lost control of his Harley Davidson, striking a guardrail on the east side of the road. The bike slid for about 300 feet before Cutrano was thrown from the motorcycle. Cutrano was not wearing a helmet, and the Grundy County Coroner pronounced Cutrano dead at the scene of the accident. Cutrano was only 52 years old when he died.

Cutrano and a friend had worked together to create a memorial wall and annual motorcycle run to the wall honoring those who had died while serving in conflicts in the Middle East after the two became angry while witnessing a protestor burning a U.S. flag on the news. The motorcycle ride occurs every June and concludes at the memorial wall to remind people of all those who have given their lives in service to the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cutrano's untimely death is a heartbreaking reminder of how frequently motorcycle accidents occur on Illinois roads. Cutrano's accident shows that even skilled drivers can have momentary lapses in control and the results can be fatal. The danger increases for motorcyclists when drivers of other vehicles are added to the mix. All Illinois drivers should take heed and drive with caution. Their own lives, and the lives of others, depend on it.

Source: The Times, "Co-founder of Freedom Run killed in accident," Steve Stout, May 29, 2012.

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