UPDATE: One dead, two injured in Monday night crash

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Alison Bradley and Jonah Beleckis
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

JANESVILLE—An Edgerton man was killed Monday night when the motorcycle he was riding smashed into a car on Janesville's north side and burst into flames, Rock County sheriff's officials said.

At about 9:28 p.m. Monday, Janesville police officer Nathaniel Heffner attempted to pull over the driver of the Kawasaki ZX900 for speeding.

Heffner saw the motorcycle and initially turned on the squad's emergency lights but quickly realized that a pursuit would not be safe because of the motorcycle's speed, Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore said.

Heffner shut off the emergency lights but followed the motorcycle at a normal patrol speed, Moore said.

The motorcycle driver sped north on Highway 51 from Black Bridge Road, according to a sheriff's office news release.

The driver failed to stop at a red light at Highway 14, and his motorcycle crashed into the driver's side of a Chevrolet Cruze traveling west on Highway 14, according to the release.

The impact of the crash caused the Cruze to crash into another car, a Chevrolet Cavalier, which was westbound in the right lane of Highway 14, according to the release.

Both vehicles continued westbound until they stopped just west of the intersection.

The motorcycle stopped at the point of impact and exploded into flames, the news release states.

Heffner could see the crash involving the motorcycle. He quickly grabbed the victim from the burning motorcycle, but the fire gave the officer second-degree burns on both arms, Moore said.

Heffner will be OK, he added.

The motorcycle driver, a 32-year-old Edgerton man, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the release.

The driver of the Cruze, a 65-year-old Evansville man, was transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center for severe but non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger in the Cruze, a 64-year-old Evansville woman, was also transported to the hospital for possible injuries, according to the news release.

The driver of the Cavalier, a 22-year-old Brodhead woman, and her passenger, a 27-year-old Janesville man, were not injured, according to the release.

Rock County sheriff's deputies, Janesville police, Janesville firefighters and EMS, MD-1, and personnel from the Rock County Medical Examiner's Department responded to the crash scene.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Team also responded.

Traffic on highways 51 and 14 was diverted around the intersection for about three hours until the scene was cleared.

The crash is still being investigated, but no arrests or citations are anticipated, according to the release.

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