Hero Down: Cook County Investigator James Koch Killed By Reckless Teen Driver
Chicago Ridge, IL – Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Electronic Monitoring Investigator James Koch was killed on March 30, when a reckless juvenile driver crashed into his vehicle shortly after midnight.
The off-duty collision occurred in the 10100-block of South Virginia Avenue, as the 51-year-old investigator was driving home in his 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, the Chicago Tribune reported.
According to police, a 16-year-old male in a 2015 Nissan was traveling “way too fast” in the oncoming lane, and lost control of his car on a curve.
The teen’s vehicle then slammed into the driver’s side of Investigator Koch’s vehicle, and sent it flying approximately 30 feet.
The force of the impact crushed the driver’s side door, and trapped him inside.
Chicago Ridge Fire Department personnel raced to the scene, and cut the door open to extricate the injured investigator.
Emergency medical personnel said he was unresponsive, but that he had a pulse.
Investigator Koch was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The teen driver of the second vehicle was transported to the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center after he was medically cleared.
Police said that the teen, who only had a learner’s permit, was not impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision.
Speed and wet road conditions were also factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, WBBM reported.
The teen has been charged with reckless homicide, improper lane usage, driving too fast for conditions, and driving without a valid driver’s license.
Investigator Koch was just a half mile away from his house when the violent crash occurred, WLS reported.
“Investigator Koch has been with our office for more than 28 years,” CCSO spokesperson Sophia Ansari told the Chicago Tribune. “He was an incredible colleague and friend to so many. Our hearts are broken for his family, his friends, and all who were fortunate enough to know him.”
He planned to retire from the department in two years, WLS reported.
Investigator Koch’s brothers two brothers are also law enforcement officers, and his father was a retired Chicago police department lieutenant, according to his obituary.
He will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cook County Sheriff’s Office Electronic Monitoring Investigator James Koch, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.