Biker, pedestrian killed in Saturday night accident: cops

The operator of a motorcycle struck and killed a pedestrian, police said, and the biker was subsequently run over by an SUV following the initial wreck.

Jake Murdock, 23, of Manhattan was driving a Harley-Davidson west on Wilmington-Peotone near Peotone shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday when he struck 23-year-old Ethan Ullrich of Manteno, according to a statement released Monday by the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

“The motorcycle continued westbound, striking a mailbox on the north side of the roadway,” police said.

“Ullrich succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” according to police. “Murdock was also deceased and located in the roadway when deputies arrived.”

It remains unclear, however, if the initial wreck claimed Murdock’s life, police said.

“It is unknown at this time if Murdock was still on the motorcycle when it struck the mailbox,” police said. “It is also unknown if Murdock was initially still alive or deceased while he was laying in the roadway.”

Deputies investigating the crash determined an eastbound SUV hit Murdock while he was in the road, according to police.

“Murdock was dragged several feet before being disengaged from the vehicle,” police said. “The SUV continued, with the driver believing she had struck an animal, and then her vehicle became disabled near (Interstate) 57 and Sauk Trail.”

The driver of the SUV returned to the scene of the crash after calling a relative “for assistance,” police said.

“Illinois State Police and Sheriff’s deputies spoke to the driver of the SUV and interviewed her,” according to the statement from the sheriff’s office. “At this time, no charges have been filed on the SUV driver and no signs of alcohol-use were determined during questioning.”

The sheriff’s office noted the scene of the crash is a “two-lane, rural road, with no streetlights in the area.”

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.