The family of a Cook County police officer killed in a fiery wreck on the Route 47 bridge over the Illinois River in Morris has started a fundraising campaign for his children.
On Sunday, Officer Ronald Prohaska of Chicago was killed as he helped a stranded motorist in the southbound lanes of Route 47. According to Morris Police, Prohaska had stopped to assist a motorist whose car had broken down. After parking his car in front of the disabled vehicle, Prohaska was looking under the hood of the broken down car when a third car stuck that vehicle, pinning him between two cars. All three vehicles sustained major crash and fire damage.
A witness to the crash said several motorists stopped and helped pull victims from the burning vehicles. A woman who witnessed the crash performed CPR on a victim.
Prohaska was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Two other people, including a child, were also taken to the hospital with injuries. The names and conditions of those victims were not released.
His family has started a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial assistance to his two young daughters, who live in Mazon.
"He left behind a legacy of an angel. From saving multiple lives to having his final words being, 'don't worry about me, help my girls.' Our family is asking for anything you can afford to donate to cover some of the funeral costs and the main priority — a trust fund for his two daughters who are currently 12 and 7," Prohaska's brother, Kyle Prohaska, wrote on the GoFundMe page. "We greatly appreciate any and all donations and send love in advance."
Donations can be made online at gofundme.com/hero-down-officer-ronald-prohaska.
Matthew Taylor, 53, of Morris was cited for failure to reduce speed. The Morris Police Department is continuing the investigation, and additional charges may be filed, according to the MPD.
Anyone who might have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact Morris Police Investigation at 815-942-6504.