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Tentative trial date set in motorcycle fatality

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

MORRISON – A tentative trial date was set Wednesday for a Chadwick woman charged in the death of a Sterling motorcyclist.

Theresa Ruf, 43, is charged with reckless homicide with a motor vehicle, a felony that carries 2 to 5 years in prison, and failure to reduce speed. Her trial was set for May 14; a pretrial hearing will be held April 24.

Samuel L. Munz, 53, was hit from behind by Ruf’s SUV on June 5, police said. The Sterling Steel employee was stopped on state Route 40, about a half-mile east of Ridge Road, preparing to turn into his driveway.

In August, Munz’s son, Jacob Munz, executor of the estate, sued Ruf in Whiteside County Court for wrongful death.       

In his response to the suit, Ruf’s attorney, Lou Pignatelli, said Munz failed to exercise due care for his safety. According to the police report, his motorcycle had no turn signals, and a witness told state police he didn’t see Munz use hand or arm signals, as required.

A motion hearing has been set for March 12.

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