ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Veteran’s Memorial Circle at the N. Main and Auburn roundabout was damaged again Friday after an SUV, driven by a man who had allegedly shot himself in the leg, slammed into the retaining brick wall.
According to Rockford Police, the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on Friday, October 27th.
Police said Anthony Harris, 32, left the scene after the crash and was later found suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg that “appeared to be self-inflicted.” He was treated at a local hospital and then taken into custody at the Winnebago County Jail.
Harris has been charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, and Aggravated Driving Under the Influence.
Following heavy damage on Memorial Day of this year, volunteers said they had cleaned up at least 18 messes caused by crashes at the roundabout.
The local group “Friends of Veterans Memorial Circle” said they planted 13,600 flowers in the traffic circle this year, at the cost of around $13,000 paid for through community donations.
Data from the Rockford Public Works Department estimated the roundabout was the location of about 100 crashes last year, nearly all of them fender-benders.
The roundabout was constructed in 2013 and was dedicated as Veterans Memorial Circle in honor of 527 soldiers buried at the neighboring Greenwood Cemetery. A Civil War soldier statue that originally adorned the roundabout was moved downtown.
The roundabout became overgrown until the volunteer neighborhood group was formed.
In September, the City of Rockford announced a “Roundabout Awareness Week” to stress the safety of roundabouts in comparison with controlled intersections.
There are four roundabouts in the city:
- Main and Auburn
- Seminary and College
- Mercy and Lyford
- Airport and Kishwaukee
Roundabouts reduce injury crashes by 76% and fatal crashes by 90%. There are plans for more to come to Rockford.