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Teen charged with reckless homicide in crash that killed Cook Co. investigator

Investigator James Koch | Cook County sheriff's office

A teenager is facing reckless homicide charges following a high-speed crash that left a Cook County sheriff’s investigator dead early Saturday near his home in Chicago Ridge.

James Koch, 51, was off-duty and driving home just after midnight in the 10100 block of Virginia Avenue when his vehicle was struck by the 16-year-old driving a 2015 Nissan, according to police in the southwest suburb and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Chicago Ridge paramedics found Koch unresponsive and took him to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died, police said.

An autopsy Sunday found he died of multiple injuries related to the crash, according to the medical examiner’s office, which ruled his death an accident.

The teen at the wheel of the other vehicle was taken into custody and charged Saturday afternoon with felony reckless homicide, driving without a valid license, improper lane usage and speeding.

Police did not release the name of that driver, who is a minor.

Koch, an electronic monitoring investigator, was a 28-year veteran of the Cook County sheriff’s office, spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.

“He was an incredible colleague and friend to so many,” Ansari said. “Our hearts are broken for his family, his friends, and all who were fortunate enough to know him.”

Koch was the third law enforcement worker to be killed on an Illinois road over the last week.

An Illinois State Trooper was also killed in a crash Saturday morning in north suburban Green Oaks, just two days after another trooper was hit by a semitrailer near Rockford.