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Off-duty Chicago police officer killed in crash on Dan Ryan

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Updated: August 22, 2014 6:22AM



An off-duty Chicago Police officer was killed in a crash Sunday afternoon on the Dan Ryan Expy., Illinois State Police said.

The Chicago Police Department identified the officer Sunday night as Probationary Police Officer Tito M. Rodriguez, 28, who had been with the department since May 2013.

“We are truly saddened by the loss of Officer Tito Rodriguez who perished in today’s tragic accident,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a written statement. “On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. Whenever we lose one of our own, it has an effect on each of us, and we will be sure to honor Officer Rodriguez’s memory and spirit appropriately.”

A member of Rodriguez’s family declined to comment.

The officer was riding a motorcycle south on the Dan Ryan near 71st Street when he was hit by another vehicle about 2:15 p.m., according to state police. They said Rodriguez was not wearing a helmet.

The crash was initially reported as a hit-and-run, but officials later said the other driver involved in the accident did remain on the scene.

State police identified the other driver as Dennis Anderson, 50, of Chicago. According to state police, Anderson was driving a red 2007 Pontiac coupe and was trying to change lanes to avoid missing the 71st Street exit when the Pontiac cut off the motorcyclist.

The officer couldn’t avoid the Pontiac and collided with the vehicle, police said. Anderson was charged with improper lane usage and having no valid insurance.

State police said the officer was dead at the scene. Red tape marked the site as cars crawled by on the expressway. People also looked down from the sidewalks of the streets above, and a few Chicago police officers joined them there.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SeidelContent



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