Local

Marengo coach regains consciousness after crash

Medical issue likely cause of rollover wreck

Robert Kruse works on a mural of Homer “Bill” Barry on June 21 in Marengo Community High School’s gymnasium in Marengo. Kruse was critically injured after his vehicle rolled over Wednesday.
Robert Kruse works on a mural of Homer “Bill” Barry on June 21 in Marengo Community High School’s gymnasium in Marengo. Kruse was critically injured after his vehicle rolled over Wednesday.

BULL VALLEY – A Lake in the Hills man critically injured Wednesday after his vehicle rolled over most likely had a medical issue prior to the crash, according to the Bull Valley Police Department.

Robert J. Kruse, a Marengo football coach, was traveling north in the 1300 block of Fleming Road 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,” Bull 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” Berry, 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

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