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'Tragic and unfortunate circumstance': No charges pressed against Moline officer who hit and killed 13-year-old cyclist
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'Tragic and unfortunate circumstance': No charges pressed against Moline officer who hit and killed 13-year-old cyclist

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A 13-year-old boy was struck and killed while riding his bike on 34th Street in Moline on May 4.

No charges will be pressed against a Moline police officer who hit and killed a 13-year-old cyclist with her squad car in May.

Katherine Pennacchio has been on administrative leave since the May 4 crash that resulted in the death of Charles W. Hubbard of Moline.

Pennachio was on her way to respond to an emergency call at 41st Street and 11th Avenue, which involved several individuals using bats and vehicles to attack each other, according to the investigation report released Tuesday by the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office

Pennachio was traveling southbound in the 1100 block of 34th Street when the squad car struck Hubbard on his bicycle at about 2:55 p.m. Hubbard was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to the report, Pennachio was wearing her seat belt and was not texting at the time. Her body-worn camera and squad camera were both active and functioning. She was traveling 54 or 55 mph, about 15 mph over the posted speed limit of 40, and she did not have her lights and sirens activated.

The video shows Hubbard riding on the right side of the street as Pennachio approached. He turned left near 11th street and crossed in front of the squad car. Pennachio had about 1.5 seconds to react between the time Hubbard crossed into her lane and the time of the collision. She swerved into the northbound lane but was not able to miss the bicycle.

The report outlines Illinois laws regarding when police officers are given exemptions from general traffic regulations. According to Illinois law, officers can exceed the maximum speed limits when responding to an emergency, and police vehicles are not required to have their lights and sirens on when speeding, as long as they are acting with caution.

After the accident, Pennachio immediately called dispatch to report she hit a bicyclist, the report states. She also stopped in the road and jumped out of her car to check on Hubbard’s condition. After other officers arrived to assist in administering aid, Pennachio “sat on the curbside of the road due to her distraught condition. She was later transported to UnityPoint for hyperventilation and vomiting due to shock from the accident,” the report states.

"This incident is one of tragic and unfortunate circumstance, one not contemplated by criminal punishment. In reviewing this case, it is clear that many lives will never be the same," State's Attorney Dora Villarreal stated in the report. "We ask the community to join us in giving our heartfelt sympathy to everyone involved in this accident."

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