BULL VALLEY — The condition of a Marengo football coach injured Wednesday in a rollover crash has been upgraded from from critical to serious, according to a spokesperson from Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville.
Robert J. Kruse was traveling north in the 1300 block of Fleming Road at around 6:20 a.m. Wednesday when his vehicle left the roadway, struck several trees and rolled over, police said. The 61-year-old was trapped inside and had to be extricated from the vehicle.
"By all indications there was a medical issue before the accident," Bully Valley police Det. Jim Page said. "This was not alcohol-related, and he wasn't texting or falling asleep. A witness said he was weaving from shoulder to shoulder and off the roadway for like 1,100 feet before striking the trees."
Kruse, who suffered multiple broken bones in the accident, regained consciousness and was responsive Thursday afternoon, according to Marengo High School officials. Kruse, a retired coach and teacher from Dundee-Crown High School, started as an assistant football coach at Marengo High School earlier this year.
Woodstock Fire Rescue personnel took Kruse to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock. He was then airlifted to Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville.
He was wearing his seat belt. The crash is under investigation by Bull Valley police.
Kruse joined the football coaching staff at Marengo High School, after he previously knew head coach Matt Lynch from their time together at Dundee-Crown.
Lynch even asked Kruse to paint a mural honoring legendary former coach Homer "Bill" Barry, who coached 29 seasons at Marengo. An amateur painter, Kruse had started a business, Sportraits, to paint pictures of people and has a website at sportraits.weebly.com.
He completed the mural project earlier this summer.
–Reporters Joe Stevenson and Stephen Di Benedetto contributed to this report