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Firefighter on leave is charged in crash that killed Downers Grove woman

Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 9:43 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Police have charged an Orland Fire Protection District firefighter in connection with a traffic crash near southwest suburban Tinley Park that killed a 25-year-old Downers Grove woman on Friday.

Authorities say Patrick Bruce, 45, was driving a Lincoln Navigator that collided with two vehicles about 1:40 p.m. on 167th Street at Lockwood Avenue. Bruce has been on leave for an injury for eight months, according to the fire district.

One of the other drivers, 25-year-old Anasis Knox, died shortly after the crash. Two others were taken to the hospital after the crash, one of them seriously injured.

Bruce has been charged with reckless homicide, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and reckless driving, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

In a statement Sunday, Orland Fire Protection Chief Ken Brucki said Bruce has been on leave due to an injury for the last eight months, and was in his personal vehicle at the time of the crash.

"Our condolences go out to the family of the victim," Brucki said in the statement.

"The accident investigation is in the capable hands of police, and the Orland Fire Protection District is cooperating fully with police investigators. We cannot comment further," according to the statement.

Bruce is scheduled to appear in bond court Monday morning.

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