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Local

Sheriff's lieutenant dies, four others hurt in head-on in Ogle County

BYRON – An Ogle County sheriff's lieutenant is dead and four people are injured after a collision around 1:30 Saturday morning on state Route 72 in Ogle County.

Randall L. "Randy" Hilliard, 50, of Byron was eastbound on 72 in a pickup when he crossed the center line near Oak Court and hit a westbound SUV head-on, State Police said in a news release Saturday morning. Hilliard died at the scene.

The Ogle County Sheriff's Department said in a news release that Hilliard was off duty at the time of the crash. He had been with the department since 1991 when he was hired as a correctional officer. He was promoted to sergeant, and later lieutenant.

"Randy will be deeply missed by his family at the sheriff's office, but more importantly his family at home," Sheriff Brian VanVickle said in the release.

The SUV driver, Rick A. Sgro, 51, of Oregon, and passengers Allison R. Sgro, 24, and Abigail E. Sgro, 20, both of Mount Morris, were taken to SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford. Their conditions were unavailable Sunday.

The Sgros are related to a current Ogle County Sheriff's deputy by marriage, VanVickle said Sunday.

A third passenger, Daniel W. Merritt, 20, of Gering, Nebraska, was taken to MercyHealth Hospital – Rockton Avenue in Rockford, where he was treated and released.

Ogle County Sheriff's deputies also responded, as did Byron and Stillman Valley firefighters and EMTs.

The crash, which happened about midway between Byron and Stillman Valley, is under investigation by the Illinois State Police. VanVickle referred questions about whether seat belts were worn or other factors in the crash to state troopers.

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