Semi driver in fatal semi/train crash had history of severe cardiac disease

Online Staff Report

The semi truck driver who lost his life in a fatal semi/train crash in rural Winnebago County Wednesday, Dec. 3, had a history of severe cardiac disease, the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office has announced.

Michael L. Burtch, 61, of Rockford, died Dec. 3 when the truck he was driving collided with an eastbound train in the 2700 block of Alworth Road, west of Rockford, around 9:15 a.m.

Preliminary results of an autopsy showed traumatic head injuries as cause of death. However, the coroner’s office noted Burtch’s history of cardiac disease, but also said “it cannot be proved conclusively” whether a cardiac episode may have caused the accident.

Posted Dec. 5, 2014

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