Kane County is mourning the loss of 44-year-old Kane County Division of Transportation worker Steven W. Chidester, who died this morning after being struck by a Ford F250 pickup on Harter Road in Blackberry Township.
“In Steve Chidester, we lost a valued friend and work colleague,” Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said. “What compounds the pain of this tragedy is that Steve’s wife, Lorraine, also works at the county and is beloved by all who know and work with her. Our deepest condolences go out to Steve and Lorraine’s family.”
According to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies responded at around 10:41 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2016, to a report of an accident on Harter Road just north of Lasher Road in Blackberry Township.
A preliminary investigation indicates that a two-man work crew in a KDOT Ford 350 truck and pulling a “hot box” asphalt trailer were traveling north on Harter Road when the driver stopped the truck and Chidester exited to fill in a pothole. A northbound 1999 Ford F250 driven by Christopher N. Flamand, 27, of Kaneville failed to slow and struck the KDOT truck and Chidester, the Sheriff’s Office report said.
Chidester was was pronounced deceased at the scene. Flamand and the driver of the KDOT vehicle were treated for minor injuries by a Sugar Grove emergency medical services unit.
The Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team was called to the scene and is partnering with the Sheriff’s Office in the ongoing investigation. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19, no charges have been filed.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sugar Grove Fire Department, the Sugar Grove Police Department and the Kane County Office of Emergency Management.
Chidester was a four-year employee of the Kane County Division of Transportation. He was hired as a seasonal snow plow driver, known as a “snowbird,” in December 2011, then brought on as a full-time employee on April 10, 2012, as a highway maintainer. He worked his way through promotional tests to achieve the position of Highway Maintainer III, the highest available level for a maintainer.
The Kane County Human Resources Department will provide grief counseling to employees from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, in the auditorium of Building A at the Kane County Government Center.
Kane County Division of Transportation Director Carl Schoedel said the loss touches everyone in his department and extends to the entire Kane County family.
“Nothing prepares us for the incredible weight of sadness when we lose a co-worker,” he said. “Steve was as tough as nails on the outside, but a caring person with a warm heart. I can’t even begin to describe how he’ll be missed.”
Funeral arrangements are expected to be made by the Conley Funeral Home in Elburn.
SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release