Identities from fatal three-vehicle crash near Oregon released

Mt. Morris driver killed, five others injured

An Illinois Central school bus sits on the east ditch of Illinois Route 2 between Oregon and Byron on Monday afternoon following a 3-vehicle collision just south of Camling Road. Seven people were injured in the accident and one fatality was being reported. No students were onboard the school bus, but the driver and two aides were injured in the accident Illinois Central officials said. The road remained closed from Town Hall Road to Camling Road as police worked to reconstruct the accident.

OREGON — Dirk Miller, 55, of Mt. Morris, was identified by Ogle County Sheriff’s Office as the driver who was killed when his car crashed into two other vehicles on Monday afternoon on state Route 2 north of Oregon.

The sheriff’s office also provided the names of the other adults involved in the crash.

Miller was pronounced dead at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford after Byron EMS transported him there after the crash, the sheriff’s report said.

A preliminary investigation showed Miller was southbound on Illinois Route 2 when he crossed the center line into the northbound lane, where he struck two oncoming vehicles, the report states.

One of those vehicles was a 15-passenger school bus driven by Teresa Gabriel, 58, of Dixon, according to the report. Gabriel and a passenger, Connie Sloter, 34, of Dixon, were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries; a juvenile passenger was uninjured and released to a family member at the scene.

It was an Illinois Central school bus, but no students were on board, company officials said Monday.

The van-like bus was carrying two adults — the driver and a monitor — and a child of one of the adults, said Richard Price, Illinois Central’s director of safety and risk management.

It was an out-of-district vehicle, meaning it was traveling through the area, and was not from the Oregon, Byron or Dixon school districts, Price said. It had come from the company’s Dixon bus lot and was headed to Rockford, he said.

The driver of the third vehicle, Kiara Franklin, 22, of Rockford, was transported to Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside in Rockford for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the sheriff’s report. Two juvenile passengers also were taken to the hospital for observation.

Route 2 was closed between East Camling and Town Hall roads while officers worked the scene of the crash, which was just south of Camling, 6.5 miles north of Oregon. The road closure, which lasted until just before 6 p.m., was to allow officials to reconstruct the collision, Ogle County Sheriff Brain VanVickle said Monday.

The crash is under investigation.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner covers Ogle County for the Oregon Republican Reporter, Forreston Journal, Mt. Morris Times and Polo Tri-County Press. She has six-plus years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.