Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ball player collapses, dies

In Sunday’s Northwest Herald it was reported that the Office of the McHenry County Coroner is investigating the death on Saturday, May 10, of William J. (“Billy”) Vahldieck, 20, of Woodstock.

Today’s paper (Tuesday) reports that Vahldieck was playing softball at "Big Love Field" on Friday night, when he was involved in a collision. The assumption here is that he was on the field in some kind of organized team play (because Woodstock ball fields are restricted for play) and collided with another player, but no details were offered in the paper. The correct name of the field is Bigelow Field, which is located near the Woodstock Water Works in Emricson Park.
The article says that he collapsed; an ambulance was called and he was transported to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock, where he died on Saturday.

Not until Tuesday morning does an article appear about police interest in his death. And the comment from police?

Chief Lowen is quoted. “There was an incident Thursday night that involved a number of people. We can’t say whether the injury was related or not related.”

Incident? Incident? This is cop-speak for “We ain't tellin' you nuthin'." To what injury is Chief Lowen referring? Vahldieck’s collapse at the game or something else?

According to Tuesday’s article, “Police (unnamed) also confirmed that Vahldieck was involved in an altercation Thursday evening.”

Now, to most people, “altercation” means fight. Did the Woodstock Police know about this fight on Thursday night? Did they respond? Did Vahldieck complain at that time of injuries? Were injuries visible or obvious? How many were involved in the fight? Where was it?

A reader of the Northwest Herald posted a comment mid-day on Monday to Sunday’s article.

wdstkmom wrote on May 11, 2009 12:03 p.m.
"I just heard through a Woodstock High School Student that this boy had been beat up the day before by another WHS student and had several internal injuries. He was then playing ball on Friday and collided with another player and was knocked out. I also heard that the person that beat him is now in Jail. If this is true, I hope he rots there!"

Is a person in custody from Thursday night's "altercation"?

A check on the Press Release webpage of the Woodstock Police Department reveals absolutely nothing but an announcement of May’s Coffee with the Chief (scheduled for last night). I wonder if Thursday's “incident” came up at last night’s Coffee. Were any readers there?
(The original article was edited to correct the name of the field where the game was played.)


Bill Crittenden said...

Did you notice they spelled "Restricted" wrong? #6: "Resticted"

Gus said...

Bill, my eyesight must be failing. I missed that. Where was it?