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No criminal charges will be filed in Deere worker pedestrian death

An investigation revealed that the driver who struck the UAW member on Oct. 27 had a green light and was traveling within the speed limit.

ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Ill. — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video aired Oct. 27 on WQAD.

Documents released on Wednesday, Jan. 5 from the Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal reveal no criminal charges filed in the United Auto Workers union member death on that occurred on Oct. 27 in Milan.

In the midst of the United Auto Workers labor strike with Deere & Company, 56-year-old Richard Rich was hit and killed by a car while walking at about 6 a.m. that Wednesday morning across the intersection of Rock Island-Milan Parkway and Deere Drive.

According to initial reports from the Milan Police Department, Rich was crossing the intersection and walking with a group of fellow picketers when he was hit.

A witness among the group of picketers, according to the documents, reported seeing traffic coming toward the group while they were trying to get across the intersection. The group had made it to the median, when a loud "pop" sound was heard and Rich was found on the ground behind them.

Rich was treated by witnesses, officers and them EMT but was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene by Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafso. An autopsy conducted in Peoria County that day showed Rich died from blunt force trauma to the chest as a result of the motor vehicle collision.

RELATED: Done deal: UAW accepts latest offer on Day 35 of John Deere strike

According to the summary of facts, witnesses recalled the car that struck the union worker having a green light and traveling within the speed limit with headlights on. The driver said he had a green light and had not seen Rich crossing until after the collision.

Surveillance video from Nature's Treatment of Illinois in Milan captured traffic going through Parkway intersection and supports witnesses' and the driver's statements.

Upon completion of a traffic crash reconstruction report, the Moline Police Department found there was no significant evidence to charge the driver with traffic or felony charges in the death, as nothing showed he was driving recklessly, under the influence or intentionally caused the collision.

Read the full report from the Rock Island County state's attorney here.

Find WQAD's full coverage of the John Deere contract negotiations here.

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