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Driver dies of injuries from fiery Route 72 crash

A crash involving car semi trailer truck occured Thursday morning around 10:00 am Route 72 East Big Timber Hampshire.

A crash involving a car and a semi trailer truck occured Thursday morning around 10:00 am on Route 72 East of Big Timber in Hampshire. The driver of the automobile was extricated while the car was on fire, in which police and firefighters kept at bay using nine fire extinguishers according to Kane County Sheriff Lt. Pat Gengler. Flight for Life flew the victim away from the scene. No further information available. December 5, 2012 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 7, 2012 7:23PM

RUTLAND TOWNSHIP — The 26-year-old Johnsburg man injured in a head-on crash Thursday between his car and a semi-trailer truck between Gilberts and Hampshire has died of his injuries.

Kane County sheriff’s detectives were notified at 11 a.m. Friday that Martin Baureis had died in Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. He had been flown there by helicopter after the crash, which occurred about 10:15 a.m. Thursday on Route 72 an eighth-mile east of Big Timber Road.

Kevin Childers, deputy chief of the Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire Protection District, said Baureis’s Toyota Corolla had started burning after it collided head-on with a semi. But police officers who arrived before any firetrucks confined the flames to the car’s engine compartment by spraying it with an estimated nine fire extinguishers.

The car’s front had been so crushed that it took 30 minutes to pry the wreckage away to get to the driver.

Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Patrick Gengler said Friday that the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Gengler said the initial investigation shows that the semi was eastbound on Route 72 after stopping for the stop sign at Big Timber. As the truck approached a curve in the roadway, the driver saw Baureis’s Toyota traveling west at high speed.

Gengler said the Toyota apparently had crossed the centerline into the oncoming lane of traffic.

The lieutenant identified the truck driver as 47-year-old Michael Fritz of McHenry. Childers said Fritz was shaken up but declined to be taken to a hospital after being examined by paramedics.

Gengler said investigators had not yet established whether texting while driving, or drugs or alcohol, had played a role in this crash.

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