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Tragic start to October; 3 traffic fatalities in 9 days in Walworth County
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Tragic start to October; 3 traffic fatalities in 9 days in Walworth County

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The month of October is off to a tragic start start with three traffic fatalities in the first nine days of the month.

There was a motorcycle crash in Sharon on Friday, Oct. 1, a hit-and run crash two days later in Elkhorn on Oct. 3 near Gateway Technical College, and a third fatality near Lauderdale Lake on Saturday, Oct. 9. Arrests have been made in the hit-and-run and OWI homicide charges are pending for the Oct. 9 crash.

Oct. 1 Sharon crash

In the case of the Oct. 1 crash, a 39-year-old man was killed after he crashed because of a cat in the road and then was hit by an oncoming vehicle in the other lane, according to Sharon Police Chief Brad Buchholz.

The victim has been identified as Jeremy L. Henrey of Roscoe, Illinois.

The crash occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. Henrey was driving a motorcycle with two other motorcyclists, Buchholz said.

The motorcyclists were traveling westbound on Highway 67, near the intersection with Salt Box Road, in the Village of Sharon.

The two other motorcyclists were ahead of him and were able to swerve to avoid the cat in the road, but the third individual was not. It’s unclear if the cat was already dead in the road or if the motorcyclist struck the cat, killing it, Buchholz said.

The victim ended up in eastbound lane on Highway 67 and a vehicle traveling eastbound struck the man while he was in the road, Buchholz said.

The woman who struck the motorcyclists immediately stopped and tried to render aid, giving the man CPR until emergency crews were able to arrive, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Alcohol or drugs is not believed to be a factor. The woman voluntarily submitted to a breathalyzer at the scene and blew a zero and voluntarily submitted to a blood draw.

Oct. 3 Elkhorn hit-and-run

In direct contrast to the Oct. 1 crash, the driver in the Oct. 3 crash near Gateway Technical College did not stop. That driver who has since been arrested.

The hit-and-run crash killed Francisco Garcia who lived in the Lake Geneva area. Officers learned that Garcia was walking on County Highway H when he was struck by a pickup truck that failed to stop after hitting him. He died at the scene. Officers were dispatched to the 400 block of Highway H at 10:31 p.m. on Sunday for a man in the ditch not breathing.

After the crash, Elkhorn police on Monday, Oct. 4, put out an alert that they were looking for a silver GMC pickup truck believed to have minor damage to the passenger side headlight lens and surrounding area. The pickup truck was further described as possibly being slightly lifted with chrome rims and in good condition.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Bradley R. Kirkpatrick, 33, of Elkhorn, was arrested and booked into the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Jail. He has been charged with a felony charge of hit-and-run involving death. In court Oct. 7 his bond was set at $20,000, which he was able to post. His initial appearance is set for Oct. 12.

Oct. 9 LaGrange crash

The second weekend of October involved another fatality and an Elkhorn man is facing several charges related to that fatal crash.

Timothy M. Creiglow, 33, of rural Elkhorn is facing charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, open intoxicants in a motor vehicle, operating left of center and operating while intoxicated first offense as a result of an accident that occurred about 11:32 p.m., Oct. 9 near the corner of Highway 12 and County Highway H in Lagrange, according to the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

The charges have been referred to the Walworth County district attorney.

Police said about 11:22 p.m., Oct. 9, the Walworth County Sheriff’s 911 Communications Center received a report of a reckless driver on Highway 12 south of County Highway A who nearly struck another vehicle before crashing into a sign and entering back onto the highway and continuing to travel north on Highway 12.

Police said the caller continued to follow the driver and provided information regarding the suspect driver failing to safely maintain traveling in the correct lane.

The caller then reported about 11:32 p.m. that the suspect driver struck an eastbound vehicle near the intersection of Highway 12 and County Highway H in Lagrange, according to police.

Police said sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene and noticed a vehicle partially in the eastbound lane. The deputies noticed an unconscious male in the vehicle but were unable to free him because of the damage done to the vehicle and a fire that started in the engine compartment, according to police.

Police said the man died as a result of the accident, but his identity is pending identification and family notification from the Walworth County Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to police, the suspect vehicle was located in a ditch on the north side of Highway 12, and the driver was identified as Creiglow.

Police said Creiglow suffered significant injuries as a result of the accident and was flown from the scene to an area hospital.

Other charges may be referred to the district attorney as sheriff’s office continues to investigate both accidents, according to police.

The Walworth County Circuit Court has set Creiglow’s bond at $150,000, according to police.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Lagrange Fire Department, Whitewater Fire Department, Walworth County medical examiner, Flight for Life and Mercy Hospital MD1.

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