Chicago firefighter killed in Downstate motorcycle crash
BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 2, 2013 6:56PM
Chicago Firefighter and paramedic, Sean Sloe, 37 was killed Thursday morning, May 2, 2013 in a motorcycle accident near Springfield.
Updated: June 4, 2013 6:37AM
Chicago firefighter and paramedic Sean Sloe was headed to the dentist after breaking his tooth while in Springfield visiting relatives when he was killed in a motorcycle accident Thursday morning.
Sloe, 37, was riding an Italian-made motorcycle built for speed when he crashed into two semi-trucks as he tried to merge onto Interstate 55 near Clearlake Avenue, authorities said.
“He was just sitting there talking, and then all the sudden he said, ‘Uh oh! What’s this?’ and part of a tooth had broken,” said Sloe’s younger brother, Mike Sloe, who is a firefighter in Springfield. “He said he was going into town to see a dentist and he’d be back in a little bit.”
But Sean Sloe, who grew up in Springfield and was home visiting his brother and mother, died on his way to the dentist’s office.
“He was an experienced rider and always wore a helmet. We don’t know what happened,” his brother said.
Sloe worked out of a fire station at 6030 N. Avondale in the Norwood Park neighborhood.
“He was my go to guy,” Capt. Patrick Sweeney said Thursday night. “He was taking all kinds of technical rescue classes in extrication and rope rescue.”
Sloe, who lived in a 24th floor condo overlooking Montrose Harbor, joined the Chicago Fire Department in 2005 and had several days off at the time of the crash. He was expected back at work Tuesday.
Sloe, who worked as a firefighter in Springfield before moving to Chicago, was the second driver on truck 55, meaning that he’d drive the fire truck when the first driver was on furlough.
“I used to joke with him when he used GPS to find his way around the city,” said Sweeney. “You must be from Springfield,’ I’d say.”
“He was also my roof guy. I’d send him up to cut holes in the roof, and you’ve got to have a lot of confidence in someone to send him to the roof.”
Sloe was a paramedic with the fire department for several years before he became a firefighter, and was, according to Sweeney, one of the city’s best in administering first aid.
“If I went down, he’s the guy I’d want working on me.”
Sloe, who was not married and had no children, had a passion for motorcycles, cars and travel.
“He had an old Mercedes and a Volkswagen Jetta and loved to go on road trips,” said Mike Sloe.
Sloe’s father, who passed away in 1992, left his two sons with a love for sailing.
“He used to own a sail boat at Montrose Harbor, but sold it last year. He talked about maybe one day working on the fire department boat,” said Mike Sloe, 31.
“He loved helping people, and he told me he loved the guys he worked with . . .He was goofy sometimes, but he would do anything for anybody any time. He was just a good dude.”