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WARRENVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois State Police say contrary to an accusation, a state trooper did not cause a crash that left a motorcyclist dead last week on the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, friends of Nicholas Linton, 29, of Aurora, say he was thrown from his motorcycle on Interstate 88 when he swerved to avoid an State Police squad car and it cut him off near Winfield Road.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Contrary to what Linton’s friends claim, the police report for the crash says two motorcycles were involved.
“One swerved into another, causing the second to take evasive action,” said an officer reading from the report.
Illinois State Police issued a two-paragraph press release Wednesday stating “the officer’s enforcement action was not a contributing factor” to the crash and Linton’s death.
“The officer followed Department policy in taking enforcement action while observing three motorcycles traveling at a high rate of speed in front of the officer’s vehicle,” according to the statement.
“Basically the investigation remains an active investigation,” said Monique Bond, public information officer for the Illinois State Police.
“What I can say at this point is based on the preliminary investigation reports and the in-car camera video that we’ve been able to review, the officer’s enforcement actions did not contribute to the crash and department policy was followed.”
State Police also released still shots from the squad car’s in-car video camera just prior to the crash that show the motorcyclists in front of the squad car. According to State Police, the photos are evidence the officer was not a contributing factor to the crash or Linton’s death. The video also shows the recorded speed of the officer’s vehicle, which tops 92 mph in one clip.
“Based on the video, the motorcycles were in front of the officer’s vehicle, and it also captures one of the motorcycles’ brake lights in front of the officer’s vehicle,” said Bond.
Linton’s friends and fellow riders from the RPM Riders United Motorcycle Club placed a cross at the site of the crash Wednesday.
The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.