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Woodstock officer released from hospital after crash with 15-year-old on learner's permit

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 11:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:56 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A Woodstock police officer had to be extricated from an unmarked squad car and flown to a hospital Monday after a three-vehicle accident.

At 6:24 p.m., a 15-year-old male motorist from Woodstock, driving on a learner's permit, was waiting to turn left from westbound Route 14 onto Dean Street. When he turned left, he struck an unmarked Woodstock squad car, which was traveling eastbound on Route 14. The squad car then hit a vehicle facing north waiting on Dean Street.

Officer Eric Schmidtke was driving a Ford Interceptor and had to be extricated from the vehicle. He was taken to Woodstock Hospital, and subsequently flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff's office.

He was released from the hospital late last night, according to McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Aimee Knop.

The traffic signal for eastbound and westbound Rt. 14 was green at the time of crash, the release said.

Because of the extra equipment in the squad car, such as the computer, radio and weapons, it took longer to conduct the extrication, Ryan said.

The juvenile driver and his adult passenger were taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock, where they were treated and released, Knop said.

The names of the juvenile and others involved in the crash were not released.

Eastbound Route 14 was shut down for about two hours after the accident, Ryan said.

The sheriff's office is investigating the crash because a Woodstock officer was involved.

Knop said the juvenile was cited for failure to yield when turning left at an intersection. She said everyone involved was wearing a seat belt, and alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor.

The officer was believed to be performing normal driving, Knop said.

•Jim Dallke contributed to this report.

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