Hero Down: Illinois State Trooper Gerald Ellis Killed By Wrong-Way Driver
Green Oaks, IL - Illinois State Trooper Gerald Ellis, 36, was killed in the line of duty Saturday morning when a wrong-way driver struck his patrol car head-on.
The incident happened at around 3:25 a.m. when Trooper Ellis was on-duty, driving home on I-94, according to Chicago Tribune.
The trooper was traveling north passing milepost 16.75 in Green Oaks when a wrong-way driver struck his patrol car head-on.
Trooper Ellis was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries at around 4:04 a.m.
The wrong-way driver was also killed in the collision. An investigation is underway to determine if the driver was impaired.
Trooper Ellis' death comes less than two days after Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was killed by a semi truck.
Thursday, at about 12:20 p.m., Trooper Jones-Story was inspecting a commercial vehicle on U.S. Route 20, just west of Illinois route 75.
“Trooper Jones-Story was outside her squad car when she was struck and fatally wounded when a truck tractor semi-trailer combination struck her squad car and the semi Trooper Jones-Story was inspecting,” Illinois State Police (ISP) said.
Trooper Jones-Story and Trooper Ellis are the second and third ISP troopers killed this year alone.
Trooper Christopher Lambert was killed in January when he was hit by a vehicle as he was rendering aid at the scene of a three-vehicle crash.
Chicago Tribune reports that 15 ISP patrol cars have been struck so far in the past three months while they were stopped with their emergency lights activated, which is more than the past three years combined.
"Today, another great hero of Illinois has paid the ultimate sacrifice for protecting and serving the citizens of this state,’’ ISP Director Brendan Kelly said while speaking about Trooper Ellis.
"This loss is bitter salt in an open wound," the director said. “By doing what he did today, he saved lives."
Trooper Ellis us a U.S. military veteran and an 11-year veteran of the agency. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Illinois State Police Trooper Gerald Ellis, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We'll hold the line from here.