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Sandburg AD over legal limit in fatal crash

Updated: June 16, 2013 6:19AM



Bruce Scheidegger, the popular athletic director at Sandburg High School, was legally intoxicated when he died in a one-vehicle crash in northwestern Illinois three months ago, Carroll County officials said.

Chief Deputy Coroner Chris Martin said Scheidegger’s blood-alcohol content “was over the legal limit.”

A toxicology report found that Scheidegger “did have alcohol in his system,” Martin said, but he refused to release the blood-alcohol content, saying, “It’s not going to bring him back. ... I feel comfortable telling you he was impaired and over the legal limit.” In Illinois, the legal limit for a driver’s blood-alcohol content is .08.

In a prepared statement, Consolidated High School District 230 Supt. James Gay said, “If alcohol played a role in this tragic event, perhaps Bruce’s final teachable moment to us all is that one decision can have tragic consequences. We continue to keep all who care for Bruce in our thoughts.”

Gay noted Scheidegger “had a tremendous positive impact on his family, colleagues, students and community throughout his career.”

The coroner’s office determined the cause of death was blunt trauma to the chest, Martin said. Scheidegger was wearing his seat belt but not the shoulder harness, Carroll County Sheriff Jeffrey Doran said.

He said the area where Scheidegger crashed has a hilly terrain, with steep drops from the roadway. The car was found Feb. 10 about 60 feet down from the road.

“We were very lucky to find the car,” Doran said. “I don’t know what made me have a feeling about it, but I told my deputy, ‘Go out there and drive that road one more time.’ He just happened to see something, got out and saw the car.”

“We don’t know where he was coming from. He had a house at Lake Carroll. There’s a back road that goes there from Mount Carroll. That road is winding,” the sheriff said.

Scheidegger is from Carroll County and was “popular and well-liked by many people in the area,” Doran said.

About 1,000 people attended a two-hour celebration of his life Feb. 17 at Sandburg.



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