The Palos Heights co-founder of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run and one of the founders of a memorial wall dedicated to military personnel killed in the Middle East conflicts died Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident in Grundy County, officials said.
Anthony R. Cutrano, 52, died Sunday afternoon of multiple injuries he sustained in the crash near Seneca, according to Grundy County Coroner John Callahan.
The crash happened at about 3 p.m. on Route 6, about two-tenths of a mile north of Bluff Road. The area is known as Holderman Hill, Callahan said in a statement.
According to a preliminary investigation, Cutrano was driving northeast when he went into an included curve and lost control of his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The motorcycle came into contact with the guardrail on the east side of the road, Callahan said, and traveled about 300 feet along the guardrail before Cutrano was thrown off the bike.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. Cutrano was not wearing a helmet, according to Callahan.
According to the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial Website, Cutrano was a co-founder of the organization which helped build the wall in Marseilles. Officials remembered Cutrano's contributions and wrote about his death on the Website.
"Tony did so much and gave so much and he will be missed by so many people. This has been a shock and more will follow. May God bless you and keep you Tony. Rest in peace with all the fallen whom you loved so much," according to the Website.
In a 2006 Chicago Tribune story about the memorial wall built in 2004, Cutrano said the idea for the memorial, which he helped build with his friend Jerry Kuczera of Chicago, was born out of patriotic anger after they saw a protester on television defacing the American flag.
The wall and an annual motorcycle run to the memorial scheduled for next June honors the thousands of military personnel who have been killed in the Middle East conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We looked at one another and asked, 'Is this how we want our guys dying over there to be remembered?' " Cutrano said at the time. "We knew we had to do something. That's when we decided to build a wall."
The investigation by Seneca police along with Callahan's office is continuing.
Seneca Fire and emergency medical services officials assisted at the scene, Callahan said.