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Four injured in accident in Somonauk

Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 11:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 2:44 p.m. CDT

SOMONAUK – Three people were injured seriously Tuesday after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a minvan that failed to yield to a stop sign.

A small hatchback with three people in it was driving south on Somonauk Road shortly before 5 p.m when it was hit by a minivan that was driving west on Suydam Road, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

"According to witnesses, the minivan blew threw the stop sign and struck this hatchback," DeKalb County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Kevin Hickey said Tuesday evening. "The hatchback had the right of way, that's a through roadway."

The three people in the hatchback – a 44-year-old male, a 41-year-old female and an 11-year-old child who all live at the same address in Hinckley – all received "very serious injuries," Hickey said. One had to be extricated, and one was flown by helicopter to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, according to Lt. Van Bomar with the sheriff's department.

Initial reports provided by the sheriff's department indicated that the hatchback had four people in it, but that was a miscommunication, Sheriff Roger Scott said Wednesday morning. The hatchback had three people in it and the minivan had two people in it.

There were no fatalities at the scene of the accident, Hickey said, and the other victims were taken to Valley West Community Hospital in Sandwich.

The driver of the minivan, Neil Christiansen, 67, of Belvidere, has been charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and disobeying a stop sign. The driver was injured, but not seriously, Hickey said.

Also in his vehicle was a 70-year-old male passenger from Rockford, who was taken to Valley West Community Hospital to be treated for injuries.

Authorities shut down Somonauk Road from Pratt Road to just south of Suydam Road, Bomar said. Suydam was also shut down near that intersection. Emergency vehicles from several local fire departments, including Hinckley, Leland, Sandwich, Somonauk and Waterman, assisted at the scene.

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