Charges pending in SUV fatality

ROCK FALLS – Charges are pending against the driver of an SUV that hit and killed a Rock Falls man and injured three others Saturday night, police said.

The Rock Falls Police Department is conferring with the Whiteside County state’s attorney to decide what to charge and whether to convene a coroner’s inquest or a grand jury, Police Chief Michael Kuelper said Monday.

Brad E. Nitsch, 33, was standing in the 700 block of Avenue D, on the east side of the road around 11:30 p.m. when he was struck by the northbound SUV, police and Whiteside County Coroner Joe McDonald said in news releases Sunday afternoon.

The SUV then hit the pole head-on, rolled and lodged between the front porch and two trees at 703 Ave. D., the releases said. Nitsch’s body was found in the yard, south of the SUV.

The driver was Chad Morse, 40, of Rock Falls, according to multiple sources. Kuelper would not confirm, saying the driver is a victim until charges are filed and the public does not need to know who the victims of car accidents are.

Morse’s girlfriend, Nicole Leal, 25, and Kari Folkers, 45, both of Rock Falls, were passengers in the SUV.

All were taken to CGH Medical Center in Sterling. Morse and Folkers were released early Sunday morning and Leal was released Monday, the hospital said.