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Article updated: 12/6/2012 7:16 PM

26-year-old man airlifted from crash west of Gilberts

By Elena Ferrarin

A Johnsburg man was seriously injured Thursday when his vehicle collided with a semitrailer truck on Route 72 in unincorporated Rutland Township, police said.

Martin Baureis, 26, was taken by a Flight for Life helicopter to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with life-threatening injuries, according to Kane County sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler.

He remained in critical condition Thursday evening, Gengler said.

"His condition is really bad," he said.

The driver of the semi was not injured.

The crash took place about 10:15 a.m. on Route 72, east of Big Timber Road.

Gengler said the truck was traveling east on Route 72 after stopping for the stop sign at Big Timber. As the truck approached a curve in the road, the driver, Michael Fritz, 47, of McHenry, observed the Toyota Corolla approach fast from the west, and cross the centerline and into the oncoming lane. Gengler said Fritz attempted to avoid the crash but was unable to do so.

First responders used nine fire extinguishers to put out a fire engulfing the Toyota, trying to keep flames from reaching the passenger compartment.

Pingree Grove Fire Department personnel extricated Baureis, who was pinned in the vehicle.

"This is the worst one I've ever seen," Fritz said of the crash.

Sheriff's deputies and members of the Kane County Crash Reconstruction Team are investigating. Route 72 was reopened at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Gengler said.

Daily Herald photographer Christopher Hankins contributed to this story.

Collision: 'This is worst one I've ever seen'

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