PINGREE GROVE – A Johnsburg man was flown to the hospital Thursday morning with life-threatening injuries after his vehicle struck a semitrailer on Route 72, authorities said.
The accident happened near Route 72 and Big Timber Road, between Gilberts and Pingree Grove, about 10:15 a.m.
Martin Baureis, 26, was driving a Toyota sedan west on Route 72. According to the initial investigation, the Toyota was traveling at a high rate of speed, crossing the center line and into the oncoming lane of traffic. Baureis was the sole occupant in the car.
The driver of the semitrailer, Michael Fritz of McHenry, was heading east on Route 72 and approached a curve in the roadway. Fritz told authorities he tried but was unable to avoid the crash as the Toyota swerved into his lane. Fritz was not injured.
After the crash, the Toyota caught fire, and Baureis was “pinned in the vehicle,” according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. Emergency responders were able to keep the fire from reaching the car’s passenger compartment by using fire extinguishers.
The Pingree Fire Department freed Baureis from the car. Baureis was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville by a Flight for Life helicopter.
Assistance also was provided by the Kane County Forest Preserve, Gilberts and Pingree Grove police departments and the Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District.
Deputies have not determined whether texting, drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
The investigation is ongoing.