Three die when car driving on wrong side hits two motorcycles
(Published Monday, July 01, 2002 9:59:17 AM CDT)
A Sunday motorcycle ride ended in tragedy for two Illinois families and a Darlington man facing three counts of vehicular homicide.
Two Illinois couples were riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles west on Highway 81 about 10 miles west of Beloit in Avon Township just after noon Sunday.
An eastbound car driven by Alfredo Diaz Urueta, 20, Darlington, crossed the center line about a half mile west of Moraity Road and hit the motorcycles, the Rock County Sheriff's Department reported.
Killed on impact was one of the motorcycle drivers, Glenn D. Katsion, 49, Hoffman Estates, Ill. His motorcycle was struck head on. Katsion died of massive head injuries.
His wife, Marlene, 50, died of massive internal injuries at 5:40 p.m. Sunday at Rockford Memorial Hospital, deputies reported.
Diaz Urueta's full-size car sideswiped the motorcycle driven by Louis E. Haehn, 51, Des Plaines, Ill. Haehn was treated at Beloit Memorial Hospital but was transferred to a hospital in Chicago's northwest suburbs.
His wife, Judy, 50, died at the Beloit hospital at 1:55 p.m. of massive internal injuries, deputies reported.
Deputies think all the motorcyclists were wearing helmets and that alcohol was not a factor in the accident. Speed might have contributed to the crash, deputies said.
After the accident, Diaz Urueta ran from the scene and flagged down a passing motorist who gave him a ride to Beloit. The motorist apparently had no prior connection to Diaz Urueta and did not know he was involved in an accident, said Cmdr. Tom Gehl of the Rock County Sheriff's Department.
Witnesses gave deputies Diaz Urueta's description, and he was arrested without incident in Beloit by Beloit officers about 12:30 p.m.
Deputies were unsure this morning why Diaz Urueta was driving in the wrong lane.
He is being held in the Rock County Jail on preliminary charges of three counts of homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle, three counts of hit and run from a fatal accident, one count of hit and run from an injury accident and four counts of failure to render aid at an accident.
Diaz Urueta's initial court appearance is expected to be at 3 p.m. Tuesday.