BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – Only a few days ago, Kaneville Township resident Burton Brown had gone to a fish fry event with friends. On Monday, one of the friends said she was shocked to hear Brown, 68, had died as a result of a car crash.
Celeste Anderson, a Batavia resident, said she had known Brown for years, and called him a "very kind-hearted person" who had "a very tender heart."
"When you got a hug from Burt, you knew you got a hug," Anderson said.
Brown died Monday morning in a head-on crash that took place about 7:30 a.m. on Keslinger Road, near the intersection of Harley Road, according to a news release from the Kane County Sheriff's Office. A 2002 Toyota Camry driven by Brown was headed east on Keslinger Road, when the car, for an unknown reason, crossed the center line and struck a 2000 Chevrolet van driven by a 35-year-old Elgin man, the release states.
Brown was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release. The driver of the van was treated and released at the scene. According to the release, both men were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Anderson said Brown drove to Geneva most days to work out at the Geneva Park District facilities. She said he kept active and enjoyed reading. She said she was among friends who went out for a fish fry regularly on Friday nights with Brown.
She said she had known him a long time, since Brown's wife once had been a roommate of Anderson's sister. She said Brown was active with Boy Scouts, and his son, Adam – now a student at Marquette University – earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Keslinger Road was closed between Harley and Denali roads until about 10:30 a.m. Monday while the crash was investigated. Lt. Pat Gengler, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said it didn't appear weather was a factor, and it was not immediately known whether either driver was traveling at an excessive speed. He also said the road was not particularly congested during the time of the crash. The Kane County Coroner's Office issued a news release, stating that an autopsy had been conducted, and that it is awaiting autopsy findings to establish a preliminary cause of death.