A 35-year-old man died and an Arlington Heights Police Officer was critically injured in a car crash Wednesday night at about 11:10 p.m.
An unnamed 18-year-veteran of the Arlington Heights police department was in a squad car waiting for a stoplight to turn green in the southeast-bound lanes of Northwest Highway at Euclid Avenue just before the crash occurred. When the traffic light turned green, the officer proceeded, but was immediately hit head-on by a white 2001 Lexus heading in the wrong direction on Northwest Highway. A Chevrolet van behind the patrol car then struck the rear of the patrol car.
The driver of the Lexus, who was intoxicated, was later pronounced dead.
The police officer, who lives in Arlington Heights, was scheduled for surgery. He remains unconscious after suffering head, abdominal and orthopedic injuries.
Witnesses driving behind the Lexus driver told police the Lexus had been traveling northwest in the southeast lanes of Northwest Highway for about a quarter-mile before the accident and had forced another driver to take evasive action.
The Lexus driver's license was suspended as of Oct.31, "due to a pending DUI case" in Mount Prospect.