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Mowing warning after deadly motorcycle crash

A family is blaming grass clippings on the road for a deadly motorcycle crash in Bureau County on Saturday, June 8.

Cheryl Zeglen was riding with friends on Saturday, June 8, when she rear-ended the motorcycle in front of her, and was thrown off. Zeglen died two days later at OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

Police reports from the Bureau County Sheriff’s Office show someone was mowing their lawn at the time of the crash. However, they specified that the lead biker “exchanged finger gestures” with the mower and began to slow down. That’s when their report said Zeglen didn’t slow down in time to avoid the lead bike, driven by her husband. Both were thrown from their bikes, but Zeglen’s husband refused medical attention.

Now, officials are reminding people to keep the roads safe and clean.

Leaving grass clippings on roadways is illegal in Illinois, because it can hide pavement markings, clog sewers, and cause motorcycles to slip.

Bill Lewis, an engineer with the city of Peoria, says he knows mowing the lawn can be a chore, but you have to pay attention to where you clippings fall in order to keep others safe.

“Anytime a bicyclist or motorcycle or vehicle encounters something like that on the street, their reaction is to slow down or move over, and we don’t want those types of things to have people react that way,” Lewis said.

He adds that it’s better to start mowing at the street so the grass gets blown into the yard instead of the street.

People who don’t clean up their clippings could face a fine of up to $125.

Mike Miletich

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