An Illinois state trooper who was heading home for the night in his squad car but pulled over to help at an accident scene was struck and killed by a vehicle Saturday afternoon in the north suburbs, police said.
Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, stopped to help at a three-car crash in the northbound lanes on I-294 near Willow Road in Glenview, Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said at a news conference.
Lambert, a five-year veteran, positioned his car in the lefthand lanes to protect the people involved but he was struck by a passing vehicle at 4:43 p.m., Schmitz said.
Lambert was given CPR by an off-duty nurse at the scene and was taken to Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview where he died at 7:24 p.m., Schmitz said.
“He’s a hero,” Schmitz said. “Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself.”
Lambert was married and had a 1-year-old daughter, Schmitz said.
The driver who hit Lambert waited at the scene for investigators, said Schmitz, who added that the crash appeared to be accidental.
“All the people who worked with him, they said he was a go-getter, he was a hard worker, they loved him, he got things done — we’re going to miss him,” Schmitz said.
“He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois,” Schmitz said.
State police led a procession of Lambert’s body to the Cook County medical examiner’s office early Sunday.
An autopsy conducted Sunday morning found Lambert died from multiple blunt force injuries related to the crash, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled an accident.