Woman tried to conceal fatal ATV accident, Lake County Sheriff's Office says

Police sirens from a cruiser.
NBC

A 45-year-old woman was arrested earlier this week on obstruction of justice charges after she allegedly tried to conceal an ATV accident that left a 56-year-old man dead in early February.

The arrest warrant was issued earlier this month after a months-long investigation into the crash, which had originally been reported as a man being struck by a vehicle in early February.

According to police, deputies were called to the area of North Lake Shore Drive and Greenwood Avenue in unincorporated Spring Grove on the morning of Feb. 7 for a person lying in a roadway.

Deputies found the man unconscious and unresponsive, and transported him to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The initial 911 caller told police they had found the man lying on the ground. While deputies did observe that the man had suffered multiple injuries, there was no vehicle in the vicinity, and no obvious signs he had been struck by a vehicle, according to a press release.

As the investigation unfolded, police discovered that the initial caller had allegedly taken steps to conceal what actually happened at the scene.

According to witnesses, the man had been at a bar prior to the incident, and had fallen to the ground, suffering facial injuries. The suspect in the case had encouraged him not to leave the bar, but the man ignored her, leaving the business on his ATV.

Witnesses saw the man cross Grass Lake Road onto Lake Shore Drive, where he accelerated away. He lost control of the ATV a short time later, was thrown from the vehicle, then was pinned underneath it after it landed on him, authorities said.

Believing that the man was under the influence of alcohol, and knowing that he was operating the vehicle on a revoked license, the woman allegedly pulled the ATV off of him and dragged him into the roadway to make it appear that he had been struck by a vehicle, police now say.

Between eyewitness accounts and video surveillance, police now believed that the woman’s story was false, and this week an arrest warrant was issued in the case.

She now faces charges of obstruction of justice, and appeared before a judge for a pretrial detention hearing this week, police said.

No further information was immediately available.

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