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Crash victim had attended wedding

Sheriff: Alcohol might have been involved

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 11:15 a.m. CDT

POLO – A New Mexico woman who died in a crash near Polo on Saturday was in town for a relative's wedding.

Melanie R. Wagner, 21, of Albuquerque, N.M., was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Union Road near its intersection with Canada Road, about 2 miles north of Polo.

Wagner was a front-seat passenger in a car driven by her cousin, Jason W. Wagner, 23, Polo, according to a news release issued Tuesday by Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn. She was thrown from the car.

According to the release, the car was headed south in the 600 block of Union Road when the driver lost control, left the road, and hit a utility pole shortly after 10 p.m.

Harn said alcohol might have been a factor in the crash.

The driver was taken by Dixon City ambulance to KSB Hospital in Dixon, and later transferred to a Rockford hospital before being taken to a Peoria hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

A rear-seat passenger, Jay R. Wagner, 18, of Albuquerque, the woman's brother, was taken by ambulance to KSB for treatment of minor injuries.

The three had attended a wedding reception for Jason's father, Greg Wagner of Polo, before the crash occurred.

The crash remains under investigation, the sheriff said.

In 2010, Wagner graduated from an Albuquerque high school. She had planned to attend paramedic school next year.

She was a server at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Albuquerque.

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