Two die after New Year’s Day crash in Ogle County

Sheriff: Slippery roads, limited visibility appear to have played role

Illinois Route 2 was closed between Camling and E. Townline roads Sunday morning following a serious auto accident. Here, an Ogle County squad car sits next to the barricades at E. Patricia Road, near the Irwin Acres subdivision, seven miles north of Oregon. Heavy fog blanketed the area in the morning hours.

BYRON — A Rock Falls woman was killed and a Polo man died on Monday following a crash on Illinois Route 2 just south of Byron early New Year’s Day.

Laurie Griggs, 48, of Rock Falls, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to an Ogle County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Terrence Pearse, 62, of Polo, was transported by Byron ambulance to Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside in Rockford for severe injuries.

Pearse died on Jan. 2, Winnebago Deputy Coroner Mike Smirz said.

“It does appear the weather played a role,” Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle said. “It was very slippery and there was extremely limited visibility at the time of the crash.”

There was dense fog and the roads were “covered in ice” at the time of the two-vehicle crash, the press release said.

Byron Fire and Ambulance responded to the scene.

The crash occurred at 7:18 a.m. in front of 6645 Route 2 north of Oregon, VanVickle said. The road was closed for about four hours, reopening at 11 a.m., he said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include information about Pearse’s death. — 5:32 p.m., Jan. 3, 2023

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include the names of those involved in the crash. — 7:20 p.m., Jan. 1, 2023

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 seven-plus years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards, including a first place award for investigative reporting from the WNA.