Tickets dismissed in two fatal Whiteside County crashes

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MORRISON – Charges filed in two fatal Whiteside County crashes have been dismissed after the Whiteside County State’s Attorney’s Office made motions saying more investigation is needed in each case.

A charge of improper passing within 100 feet of an intersection filed against Gustavo Cervantes, 39, of Crest Hill, in connection with an April 3 fatal crash was dismissed May 8, according to court records.

Cervantes was charged in the crash that killed Matthew Dean Miller, 41, of Rock Falls. Miller was driving a tractor north on state Route 40 about 9:20 a.m. and preparing to turn west onto Route 172/Star Road when a northbound semitractor-trailer, driven by Cervantes, entered the southbound lane to overtake the tractor. The two vehicles collided at the intersection and went off the northwest side of the road, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said.

Cervantes was to appear in Whiteside County traffic court in Sterling on May 13, but the charge was dismissed five days earlier.

That dismissal came two weeks after a charge of failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash was dismissed against a semitractor-trailer driver involved in a March collision near Tampico that claimed the lives of three teenagers.

Korey L. Hostetler of Deer Grove was cited on that charge April 1 in connection with the March 28 crash on Luther Road near Tampico. According to Booker, Keyan L. Crow, 17, was driving his 2003 Ford pickup north about 1 p.m. on Luther Road just outside of Tampico when he failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by Hostetler, who was traveling east on Hahnaman Road.

Crow’s passengers, Jayden Hanson and Channing Swertfeger, both 14, and Douglas “DJ” Dorathy, 16, died at the scene. Crow was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. Crow, also of Deer Grove, was cited April 2 for failure to stop and for violating his graduated license restrictions. Those charges were dismissed April 10.

Hostetler was to make his initial court appearance April 25. The charge filed against him was dismissed April 22.

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Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.