Off-duty Cook County sheriff’s officer killed in Morris crash while helping stalled driver

A southbound vehicle hit the stalled vehicle while Officer Ronald Prohaska was working on the engine compartment, Morris police said.

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Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officer Ronald Prohaska

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officer Ronald Prohaska was killed in a crash while helping a stalled driver Aug. 18, 2019, in Morris.

Cook County sheriff’s office

An off-duty Cook County sheriff’s police officer was killed in a crash while helping a driver who got stuck on a bridge Sunday in Morris, about 25 miles southwest of Joliet.

Officer Ronald Prohaska pulled over about 4 p.m. to help a motorist whose vehicle had stalled on the southbound incline of the Division Street Bridge over the Illinois River in Morris, according to a statement from Morris police.

A third southbound vehicle hit the stalled vehicle while Prohaska was working on the engine compartment, police said. All three vehicles “sustained major crash and fire damage.”

Multiple people were taken from the scene to Morris Hospital, according to police. Prohaska was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he died from his injuries.

Prohaska, who lived in Chicago, was an off-duty police officer with the Cook County sheriff’s office, according to police.

“Our hearts are broken and our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a statement.

Prohaska, 50, was hired as a correctional officer in 1994 and became a police officer in 2004, according to the sheriff’s office. Most recently, he worked for the department’s fugitive warrants unit.

One of the drivers involved, Matthew Taylor of Morris, was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed, police said.

The crash remains under investigation and anyone who witnessed it or has information is asked to call the Morris police at 815-942-6504.

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