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Pedestrian killed, officer injured, driver arrested in crash that closed Sterling bridge

STERLING – A Sterling pedestrian is dead and an officer injured after a drunken driver struck both men on the First Avenue Bridge just south of Wallace Street early Sunday, police said.

The pedestrian was walking north down the middle of the bridge around 12:40 a.m., and Officer Travis Nease stopped and got out of his patrol car to check on him. Before he could get much information, Nease was clipped by a northbound pickup truck that then struck the pedestrian and hit the viaduct, Deputy Chief Pat Bartel said.

The pedestrian’s family still is being notified, Bartel said.

Nease was treated at CGH Medical Center and released.

The Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office is handling the arrest of the driver; State Police are doing the crash reconstruction and investigation, Bartel said.

The driver’s name will be released Monday morning in a news release, if not sooner, Sheriff John Booker said in an email.

The bridge was closed from Second Street in Sterling to Second Street in Rock Falls until about 6:30 a.m.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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