STERLING – A motorcyclist died after a car hit him Sunday morning on East Lincolnway, police said.
Brian A. Schrimpf, 20, of Dixon, was pronounced dead at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.
About 11 a.m., Schrimpf was heading east on Lincolnway at 45th Avenue, near Staples. A westbound Toyota Prius driven by Burton R. Lorenzen, 78, of Dixon, made a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle.
Lorenzen and a female passenger were not injured. A young man arrived at the site to speak with the two, putting his arm around the woman to comfort her.
There was major damage to the bike, its parts scattered on the street. The helmet was latched onto the back of the seat, unused.
The Toyota was damaged on its front passenger side. The airbags deployed.
Schrimpf was taken by ambulance to CGH Medical Center, then flown to OSF St. Anthony.
An investigation into the accident continues; no citations have been issued.
"As far as we know, the lights were green in both directions," Sterling Police Sgt. Todd Messer said.
If that is the case, Messer said, then the Prius' driver was at fault.
Andy Smith, 49, of Dixon, was headed west on Lincolnway. He was behind the Prius, but going straight.
He said he told the others in his car about the Prius: "Look, look! What are they doing?"
He and other witnesses said the motorcycle had the right of way.
"It was horrible," he said. "I never saw anything like it before in my life. It's very frightening to see something like that. It took 20 minutes for me to stop shaking."
Lorenzen, sitting on the back bumper of his car, declined to comment.