Driver appears to have intentionally hit IDOT worker with car in Marengo, authorities say

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A driver who struck and injured an Illinois Department of Transportation worker with her car Wednesday morning in Marengo appears to be have done so intentionally, authorities said.

In a news release sent Wednesday afternoon, Marengo police said that “officers were informed that it appeared the driver of the vehicle intentionally struck a construction worker [who] was controlling traffic for roadwork in that area.”

Alex Vucha, communication specialist for the Marengo Fire and Rescue Districts, said the fire and rescue districts and Marengo Police Department arrived at the intersection of Grant Highway/Route 20 and Park Drive about 11 a.m. for a report of a construction worker hit by a vehicle.

First responders found a man identified as an IDOT worker “laying on the pavement and suffering from various injuries,” Vucha said.

The worker was taken by ambulance to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford with moderate injuries that were not life-threatening, Vucha said. OSF Saint Anthony is a Level 1 trauma center.

An adult woman driving the car was not injured in the crash but was taken to Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital for a psychological evaluation. Police did not identify the driver but said there is an active investigation and the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case, adding that charges are forthcoming.

The road was closed for 30 minutes in both directions, Vucha said. The Marengo Police Department is investigating the crash. According to the Illinois Tollway website, the penalty for hitting a worker is a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 14 years in jail if a driver is convicted.

The Marengo Police Department on Tuesday posted on its Facebook page that IDOT crews would be resurfacing the westbound lane of Grant Highway from Dietz Street to West Street. Park Drive is the next street over from West Street.

An IDOT spokesperson said in a statement that the agency was aware of the incident, and the worker had been taken to a local hospital.

“The department is working with the Marengo Police Department as part of its investigation,” the IDOT spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and concerns are with our co-worker. No other details are available at this time.”

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