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Former Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke hurt in car accident

Former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke shown this 2009 file photo.

Former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke, shown in this 2009 file photo.

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Updated: February 12, 2012 8:16AM

Former Big Ten athletic conference commissioner R. Wayne Duke was hospitalized Tuesday after a three-car accident in Barrington that also injured an 8-year-old girl, authorities said.

Duke, 83, was listed in serious condition at Good Shepherd Hospital after the crash around 9 a.m. Tuesday on Illinois 59 at the intersection with Cuba Road.

Police said 8-year-old Leona Murtishi, a passenger in the car Duke’s car hit, was also transported to the hospital by the Barrington Fire Department and listed in good condition.

Police Wednsday said Duke has been ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Leona’s mother, Ulkije Murtishi of Cuba Township, was ticketed for having a child in the car without a seat belt.

Police said the 2003 Cadillac driven by Duke, a Barrington resident, rammed into Murtishi’s 2003 Mercedes as it was stopped at the stoplight, causing her car to hit a 2001 Mitsubishi driven by Kristan Hayek, 24, of Mundelein.

Neither Murtishi or Hayek suffered major injuries, said Lt. Brian Keller of the Lake County sheriff’s department.

Duke’s car, though, was sent into a ditch, said Barrington Assistant Fire Chief Christian A. Toussaint.

A native of Burlington, Iowa, Duke rose through the ranks of college sports to become commissioner of the Big Eight in 1963 until he was named commissioner of the Big Ten in 1971. He retired from the post in 1989.

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