UPDATE: Driver dies from injuries suffered in two-vehicle accident

One driver involved in a two-vehicle accident on May 6 has died from her injuries. (Photos by Jeff Helfrich)

Incident occurred at Illinois Route 251 and Bethel Road

ROCHELLE — One driver has passed away from her injuries suffered in a car accident north of Rochelle on the morning of May 6, Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle said.

Paula Groves, 49, of Rockford, was pronounced dead just before 4 p.m. at OSF St. Anthony’s Hospital on Monday.

Rochelle Community Hospital, Groves’ employer, released a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday.
“Paula cared for our patients as a respiratory therapist and was part of the Rochelle Community Hospital family for three years,” the release said. “On behalf of everyone at RCH, we want to extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to her family and friends during this time of grieving now and in the days ahead. God bless.”

On May 6 at approximately 6:48 a.m. deputies along with the Rochelle and Hillcrest Fire Departments responded to the report of a two-vehicle accident with injuries at the intersection of Illinois 251 and Bethel Road.

A white Chrysler van, driven by Ronald Hamilton, 72, of Rockford, was driving westbound on Bethel Road approaching the intersection of Illinois Route 251. A blue Saturn passenger car driven by Groves was driving southbound on Illinois Route 251 approaching the intersection of Bethel Road. 

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Hamilton failed to stop at the stop sign on Illinois Route 251 and struck Groves’ car on the driver side. Both vehicles traveled off the west side of the roadway and came to rest in the front yard of a private residence.

Hamilton was extricated and transported to Rochelle Community Hospital by Rochelle Ambulance for treatment of serious injuries. Groves was extricated and transported to Rochelle Community Hospital by Rochelle Ambulance for treatment of critical injuries. 

Groves was subsequently flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Rockford by Life Flight for additional medical treatment. Hamilton was cited for disobeying a stop sign and the accident remains under investigation.

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