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Canton woman killed in motorcycle crash in Bureau County

UPDATE 10:00 p.m.: Cheryl Zeglen was riding with friends in Bureau County on Saturday. Her husband Thomas Zeglen says he hit the grass clippings, started to lose control, slowed down suddenly, and he says that’s when Cheryl crashed into him.

She was taken to a local hospital before then being transferred to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where she died two days later.

Following her death, her husband and friends gathered at Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson dealer in Peoria.
They remembered Cheryl as a “jokester” who loved her family, and as someone who loved raising money for St. Jude through the “St. Jude Peoria to Memphis Ride.”

Now, in the wake of her passing, they’re trying to educate people how dangerous grass in the road is for motorcycles.

“When grass goes into the road, there’s not much difference than when a car hits a sheet of ice in the winter. It’s the same for motorcycle riders in the summer,” explained fellow St. Jude rider Stann Weibler.

Thomas Zeglen, Husband: “I would like something to be done better than a $50 fine on grass clippings. It kills people. What’s it going to take for Congress or whatever to understand that?” shared her frustrated and heartbroken husband, Thomas.

He says he did reach out to Republican Representative Mike Unes today to see about pushing for stronger penalties for leaving clippings in the road.He says he will continue fighting to keep other riders safe in honor of his late wife, and hopes to one day rename the law prohibiting yard wast in the roads “Cheryl’s Law.”


Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said 59-year-old Cheryl Zeglen of Canton was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday, in Bureau County.

Photo provided by friends of Zeglen.

Harwood said it was just before noon Saturday when emergency responders got to the scene at County Highway Route 6 and 270 East Rd.

Harwood cited reports that there was a group of friends riding motorcycles, when they saw an upcoming stretch of road covered in fresh grass clippings; something known to be slippery for motorcyclists.

The lead rider was Zeglen’s husband. Harwood said he raised his arm high in the air to signal the other riders to get in a single file line to avoid the grass. When Zeglen’s husband started to slow down, she rear-ended him. throwing her from the bike on impact. She was critically injured.

Harwood said she was first taken to Perry Memorial Medical Center, then to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

She was pronounced dead two days after the accident, on June 10th at 12:00 p.m. from blunt force injuries.

Initial drug and alcohol tests were negative. Harwood said there will be no autopsy.

Washington Police Chief Mike McCoy tells us Zeglen was an active member of the motorcycle community, often participating in the St. Jude Ride.


Molly Jirasek

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