Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz led a press conference about 9:58 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2019, announcing the untimely death of Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert, who was hit by a vehicle in the northbound lanes of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) just north of Willow Road about 4:43 p.m. Saturday.
Director Schmitz said that Lambert was outside of his squad car handling a multi-vehicle crash. Schmitz said that during the crash investigation, Lambert was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound in the northbound lanes near I-294. Schmitz told reporters at a press conference that Trooper Lambert was given CPR by an off-duty nurse before he was transported to North Shore Glenbrook Hospital. Northbrook firefighter/paramedics arrived by 4:53 p.m. and reported CPR was being performed as they arrived. No other people were transported to a hospital by paramedics.
Schmitz said, “At 7:24 p.m. we lost our trooper, we became weaker. We lost one of our own — one of our best. Everybody loved him.” Schmitz said the traffic crash remains under investigation.
Lambert was 34 with a young wife and a 1 year daughter and a mother and father. He said, “we’re sorry to lose him.”
Trooper Lambert was on his way home in his squad car when he saw the crash and positioned his vehicle to save lives, and was struck while he was protecting people involved in the multi-vehicle crash. Schmitz add, that Trooper Lambert was on his way home — “typical trooper move — he sees a 3-car crash and he positions his vehicle in the left hand lane to save lives of those people in that crash.” Schmitz said “Lambert is a hero, and now we’re going to take care of him, his family and our troopers.”
Schmitz said the accident is under investigation, but it looks like it was an accident. He said the driver that hit the trooper did stop at the scene. He said troopers are on duty when they drive home in their squad cars, which they take with them at home.
Replying to a question from the media, Schmitz said the cause of the original crash was probably weather-related.
Schmitz reminded people there is a law requiring motorists to pull over, and said to give them room — that helps.
The Illinois State Trooper was taken with Full Honors to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, departing Glenbrook Hospital about 11:57 p.m. Saturday.
The crash was located near the inside lane J-Wall in the northbound lanes. There was an extended crash investigation ongoing where the crash is located on a slight curve just north of the Willow Road on the Tri-State Tollway.
Illinois State Police Statement:
Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Leo P. Schmitz regretfully announces the line of duty death of ISP District 15 (Downers Grove) Trooper Christopher Lambert.
This afternoon, January 12, 2019, at approximately 4:45 p.m., Trooper Christopher Lambert #6527, was on scene of a three-vehicle traffic crash, in the left lane on I-294 near Willow Road. While handling that crash another vehicle in traffic failed to stop and struck Trooper Lambert while he was outside of his patrol car. Trooper Lambert sustained serious injuries as a result the crash and was given CPR by an off duty nurse, before being transported to Glenbrook Hospital. At approximately 7:24 p.m., Trooper Lambert succumbed to his injuries.
“Trooper Lambert was a great trooper and was respected by those within and from outside the ISP, this is a tremendous loss which could have been prevented and should have never happened,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself. He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois.”
Trooper Lambert was a five year veteran of the Illinois State Police District 15 in Downers Grove and was assigned to the Criminal Patrol Team. Trooper Lambert was also a prior member of the United States Army.
Additional information will be released once it becomes available. Trooper Lambert’s visitation and funeral arrangements are pending.
Illinois Tollway Statement:
Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman and all Tollway employees offer their sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of Illinois State Police Trooper Chris Lambert.
Trooper Lambert died after being struck by a vehicle Saturday evening on the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) near Northbrook.
The Tollway honors the service and dedication of Trooper Lambert, who was a member of Illinois State Police District 15, which patrols and protects drivers and workers on the Tollway system.
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
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