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Orland firefighter charged in crash that killed Downers Grove woman

Patrick Bruce 45 Oak Forest

Patrick Bruce, 45, of Oak Forest

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Updated: March 3, 2013 10:52PM

An Orland Fire Protection District and Crestwood firefighter is facing felony reckless homicide charges in a crash that killed a 25-year-old Downers Grove resident Friday afternoon, a Cook County sheriff’s police spokesman said.

Patrick Bruce, 45, of Oak Forest, also was charged Sunday with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and reckless driving. He is set to appear in bail court Monday morning at the Cook County Courthouse at 26th and California.

According to sheriff’s police, witnesses said Bruce was driving a black Lincoln Navigator SUV east on 167th Street near Oak Forest about 1:40 p.m. when he struck an eastbound white SUV and then veered into oncoming traffic, striking an Oldsmobile driven by Anasis Knox.

Knox, 25, was pronounced dead at 2:35 p.m. Friday at South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, authorities said. A passenger in Knox’s car was treated and released, authorities said Friday.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Frank Bilecki said Bruce was taken to a hospital for a checkup after the crash, but then investigators took him into custody.

Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki said in a statement that his department was cooperating with the investigation. In the statement, Brucki did not identify Bruce, but said that he had been on duty-injury leave for the past eight months.

“Our condolences go out to the family of the victim,” Brucki said.

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