Illinois

Wife dies after hitting motorcyclist husband braking for grass clippings, IL cops say

Share the Road: Watch for motorcycles

Crashes involving motorcycles are often the fault of a motorist failing to yield the right of way or caused by a motorist who is distracted.
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Crashes involving motorcycles are often the fault of a motorist failing to yield the right of way or caused by a motorist who is distracted.

Cheryl Zeglen was on a weekend motorcycle ride in northwest Illinois when her husband spotted grass clippings on the road, authorities said.

Tom Zeglen would later say he knew the fresh yard waste on Highway 6 in Mineral Township could be a serious danger for the group of riders he was leading, according to Peoria TV station WEEK.

“It kills people,” Zeglen told WEEK.

That’s why he raised his arm and slowed, signaling for the other motorcyclists to form a single line, according to the Peoria County Coroner’s Office. But Cheryl Zeglen, 59, of Canton crashed into her husband’s motorcycle, throwing her off the bike and critically injuring her, the coroner said.

Despite efforts by paramedics and doctors to save her life, Cheryl Zeglen died after being flown to a Peoria hospital for treatment, according to the coroner. Drugs and alcohol weren’t considered to be a factor in the crash, according to the preliminary investigation.

Some experts have said grass clippings are like a “sheet of ice” for motorcyclists, according to KWQC. That danger is why it’s illegal in Illinois to leave grass clippings on the road, Illinois State Police District 10 said in a Facebook post last year.

According to her obituary, Cheryl Zeglen was a waitress at a restaurant and previously worked as a paralegal.

“She enjoyed motorcycles, music and being (a part) of St. Jude,” the research hospital working to end childhood cancer, the obituary stated.

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