File Photo – LifeNet Medical Helicopter | Photo: LMCS File

Two people were seriously injured and one of them had to be flown to the hospital after a UTV, driven by a drunk driver, rolled over near McHenry Sunday evening.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded around 5:09 p.m. Sunday to the 4300 block of North Spring Grove Road in unincorporated McHenry for a vehicle crash with injuries.

McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Communication Specialist Emily Matusek said a UTV was being operated by Ralph Ruppel, 58, of Johnsburg.

The UTV was traveling on a gravel path when it rolled over, leaving Ruppel and his passenger injured, Matusek said.

A LifeNet medical helicopter was requested to meet the ambulance at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital.

Ruppel was transported to the helicopter at the hospital and then airlifted to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

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The passenger of the UTV was transported by ambulance to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital.

Both riders of the UTV suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, Matusek said.

Ruppel was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless operation of an ATV and operating an ATV on private property without owner consent.

Ruppel was issued a notice to appear in court with a plea hearing scheduled for September 28.