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Man and woman killed in motorcycle crash near McHenry

Sun-Times file photo

A man and woman were killed in a crash between a motorcycle and a minivan Sunday night near northwest suburban McHenry.

A 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan and a 2017 Harley Davidson FLHTK Ultra Limited motorcycle crashed at River Road and Charles Miller Road at 7:53 p.m., according to the McHenry County sheriff’s office.

The motorcycle was heading south on River Road and had the green light, while the van was heading north on River Road and turning west onto Charles Miller Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

The driver of the minivan, a 41-year-old Wonder Lake woman, failed to yield to the motorcycle and the vehicles crashed in the intersection, according to the sheriff’s office.

The driver of the motorcycle, 49-year-old Dennis Edward Spears Jr. of Carpentersville, was taken to Centegra Hospital in McHenry, where he was pronounced dead at 8:45 p.m., according to the sheriff’s and McHenry County coroner’s office. An autopsy found he died of blunt force injuries to the head and pelvis.

His passenger, 42-year-old Tanya Schafer, was taken to Condell Hospital in Libertyville, where she was pronounced dead, according to the sheriff’s and Lake County coroner’s offices.

The motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, according to the sheriff’s office. The driver of the van was wearing a seat belt and the airbags deployed.

The sheriff’s Major Crash Investigation Unit is handling the crash.

Another fatal motorcycle crash happened about an hour earlier at Meadow Hill Road and Ringwood Road near McHenry.

“I think this is a forewarning about the dangers of motorcycles—our high traffic volume, rural roads, the likelihood of more motorcycles on the roads—as the weather improves,” Coroner Dr. Anne Majewski said in an emailed statement.