CHICAGO – A Cook County Sheriff’s deputy was killed on Saturday when he was struck and killed by an unlicensed teen driving at a high rate of speed.
The officer was identified as Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy James Koch. He was off-duty at the time of the crash.
The suspect has not been identified, but authorities say that he was just 16-years-old. ABC 7 in Chicago reported that the officer was driving through Chicago Ridge when the high-speed crash ensued.
“Just after midnight, Koch was driving a 2002 Chevrolet in the 10100 block of Virginia Avenue when he was struck by a 2015 Nissan.”
Emergency crews who responded to the scene found the local deputy trapped in his car and not moving. Firefighters extricated Koch’s body from his vehicle and he was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center, but it was too late. Koch was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Koch was reportedly on his way home after his shift when the collision occurred. The teen driver of the Nissan was allegedly traveling far past the 25 mph speed limit on the road, and did not have a license. Koch was just a half-mile from his home when the accident happened.
The teen was taken into police custody and was held for a Juvenile Detention hearing in Chicago. He faces reckless homicide charges for the officer’s death. His next hearing is set for April 5th.
A procession of police units escorted Deputy Koch’s body early Saturday.
Koch was reportedly aiming to retire in the next two years. He was currently serving as an investigator within the department. Koch worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department for the last 28 years. His two brothers are a Chicago Police Officer and an Indiana State Trooper.
Koch was just 51.
Rest easy brother, we’ve got it from here.