Rockford, Illinois News

South Beloit officer cleared by state’s attorney in crash that killed Rockford man

ROCKFORD — A South Beloit police officer has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal crash that killed a Rockford man last summer in South Beloit, the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The crash happened around 1:30 a.m., Aug. 23, near the intersection of Blackhawk Boulevard and Whittemore Drive when a patrol vehicle driven by officer Sawyer Kurth fatally struck 36-year-old Michael Guzman.

According to documents, Guzman was walking in the grassy median that separates Blackhawk Boulevard when he was hit, sending him airborne about 100 feet.

“After a thorough review of the case, we do not believe that criminal charges are appropriate,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley wrote in a statement.

The case is also being investigated by the South Beloit Police Department.The finings of that probe have not been released. Toxicology results for Kurth and Guzman are also pending.

Guzman’s family, last December, brought a civil lawsuit against the South Beloit Police Department, seeking $200,000 in damages. The complaint claims Kurth was distracted, veered off the road and failed to sound his horn.

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