The coroner said an autopsy showed the 20-year-old man struck by a vehicle while performing utility work along the roadway in Huntley died as a result of head trauma.
Joseph Zephries, 20, who was working with USIC, was struck by a vehicle Monday afternoon while completing work along the roadway in the area of Main Street and Coyne Station Road in Huntley.
Paramedics rushed Zephries to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later as a result of his injuries.
McHenry County Coroner Dr. Michael Rein said an autopsy was performed on Wednesday on Zephries.
The autopsy showed his cause of death was blunt trauma to the head as a result of the vehicle collision.
Huntley Deputy Police Chief Linda Hooten said that investigators learned the vehicle, a 2023 Kia Forte, was traveling eastbound on Main Street around 3:10 p.m. Monday.
Hooten said the Kia struck Zephries, who was on the south shoulder of Main Street completing utility line location services with USIC.
The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old Chicago man, remained at the scene and has cooperated with investigators.
Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the crash, Hooten said.
No charges have been filed yet as the full crash reconstruction investigation has not been completed.
“The Huntley Police Department extends our condolences to the families involved and our whole community as we grieve this loss,” Hooten said.
Zephries’ girlfriend, Angelina Madrid, told ABC7 that her boyfriend “was so full of life.”
“He really was, he was so ambitious. He was so, so mature for his age. He was like — he was a go-getter,” Madrid said.
“The USIC family conveys our deepest condolences and offers our support to his family and friends during this difficult time,” a spokesperson for USIC told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
“We are working closely with investigators as they review the incident,” the spokesperson said.
Police remind drivers about Scott’s Law, otherwise known as the “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to slow down and move over if possible when approaching any vehicle with their emergency or hazard lights activated on the side of the roadway.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was started earlier this week for Zephries.
Kyle Sexton, who was a friend of the man, called Zephries a “beautiful soul” and said, “We are all devastated by this loss.”
“Joe touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with. Joe was a center piece in the car community, but more importantly he was a son, brother, boyfriend, and friend to many,” Sexton said.
More than 300 donors raised over $16,000, with a goal of $20,000. Donations will help Zephries’ family with expenses moving forward, Sexton said.
“We will never forget you,” Sexton added.