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Single-vehicle crash led to temporary Route 31 closure

CRYSTAL LAKE – A single-vehicle accident Thursday led to part of Route 31 being closed for more than 45 minutes, according to the Crystal Lake Police Department.

Police said Evan T. Hoeltje, 21, of McHenry, at 4:27 p.m. was going north on Route 31 when the brakes in his 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix failed.

Hoeltje jumped out of his moving vehicle, which veered off the road and crashed into a NICOR gas utility box at the intersection of Route 31 and Brighton Lane.

The crash left an odor of natural gas, so emergency personnel shut down Route 31 from Route 176 to Half Mile Trail as crews from NICOR and ComEd inspected their utilities.

After the inspection, the area was deemed safe.

Hoeltje was taken to Centegra Hospital-McHenry with minor injuries.

The crash still is under investigation, and no citations have been issued.

– Joseph Bustos

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