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Local

Bench trial set for Dixon woman involved in fatal collision

DIXON – A bench trial is set next month for a Dixon woman charged with traffic offenses in an April 5 head-on collision in which a Sterling man died.

Janice Ringler, 55, of Dixon, was driving an SUV east on U.S. Route 30 near Hamilton Road, about 3 miles east of Rock Falls near the old National Manufacturing plant, around 3 p.m. when she struck a westbound pickup truck.

The truck driver, Robert Stern Jr., 39, died at CGH Medical Center.

Ringler was taken to CGH then transferred to OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where she initially was listed in critical condition with undisclosed injuries. She was upgraded to fair condition less than a week later.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and speed did not appear to be a factor in the collision, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department said at the time.

Ringler, who is represented by Dixon attorney Paul Whitcombe, was charged July 18 with improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. She pleaded not guilty Nov. 7; a bench trial was set for Dec. 12.

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