Police officer killed in car crash by motorist driving in wrong direction

‘This loss is bitter salt in an open wound,’ says Brendan Kelly, acting director of Illinois State Police

Toyin Owoseje
Monday 01 April 2019 12:17
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Trooper Gerald Ellis was hit by a motorist driving in the wrong direction on the highway
Trooper Gerald Ellis was hit by a motorist driving in the wrong direction on the highway

An Illinois police officer has died after being hit by a car being driving in the wrong direction on a motorway.

Trooper Gerald Ellis, 36, was travelling on Interstate 94 in Green Oaks, Lake County at about 3.25am when a vehicle, driving eastbound in the westbound lane, crashed into his squad car head-on, according to Illinois State Police (ISP).

The married father-of-two was rushed to Advocate Condell Medical Centre but succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead just after 4am.

The driver of the other vehicle also died, the police said.

Acting director Brendan Kelly said: “Trooper Ellis laid down his life while protecting the citizens of this state. We are asking the public to respectfully give consideration to the family of Trooper Ellis and the ISP while we continue to process and work through this tragedy.”

An investigation has been launched to determine the happened in the moments before his death.

Speculation is rife Ellis risked his life to save other motorists after a number of posts on social media describing him as a "hero".

Ellis, an 11-year veteran of the ISP District 15 in Downers Grove, is the second officer to be killed while on duty within days.

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was killed when she was struck by a truck tractor during a roadside inspection.

“The Illinois State Police are now mourning the loss of a sister and a brother,” Mr Kelly added.

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