ROCK FALLS —The driver of Mercedes who led Sterling and Rock Falls police on chases through both towns Tuesday afternoon and crashed head-on into a pickup truck and killing its driver, died of his injuries later that evening, police Chief Dave Pilgrim said.
Bruce D. O’Neal, 61, of Rock Falls, was killed when Nazier T. Pryor, 19, of Chicago, was attempting to pass another vehicle and collided with his truck, which was westbound in the 1200 block of East state Route 30, in front of Turnroth Signs.
According to Cook County Court records, Pryor was on probation for unlawful use of a weapon; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced May 11, 2021, for having a loaded gun in a vehicle.
According to Rock Falls police:
Sterling Police attempted to stop Pryor’s black Mercedes for a traffic violation – traveling the wrong way on a one-way street – around 4 p.m., but he took off. There was a brief pursuit, during which the Mercedes struck another vehicle in the area of First Avenue and Third Street, then kept going.
The Sterling officer lost sight of the vehicle near LeFevre Road and Second Avenue, and the pursuit ended
At about 4:08 p.m., a Rock Falls officer spotted the Mercedes heading south on 12th Avenue in Rock Falls and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Pryor took off at a high rate of speed, and continued east on Route 30 across the Hennepin Canal, with officers following “quite a ways behind” Pilgrim said.
The Mercedes clipped an eastbound vehicle as Pryor attempted to pass it , about 1/4 mile east of Industrial Park Road, then hit O’Neal’s westbound pickup. O’Neal died at the scene.
Pryor died Wednesday night at Javon Bea hospital in Rockford, Pilgrim said.
No officers were injured and no police vehicles were damaged, he said.
The incident is under investigation by State Police crash re-constructionists, and Pilgrim declined Wednesday to release further information, including what, if anything, was found in Pryor’s car, and how fast he was traveling, until the investigation is over.
Source: The Daily Chronicle