Bodycam captures drunk driver crashing into police squad while police canine was inside

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Bodycam footage captured a drunk driver slamming into the rear of a stopped police squad, which had a police canine inside, in Gurnee Friday evening.

A Gurnee police officer was on a traffic stop near the intersection of Route 21 and Washington Street in Gurnee around 10:30 p.m. Friday.

The officer was outside of his squad car when he noticed a 2020 Jeep Wrangler approaching at an accelerated speed, according to Gurnee Police Department Public Information Officer Shawn Gaylor.

“Reacting promptly to the impending threat, the officer distanced himself from the squad car,” Gaylor said.

The Jeep collided with the rear of the canine patrol vehicle, which Gurnee Police Department Canine Hawk was inside.

Gaylor said it was remarkable that neither the officer nor Hawk suffered any injuries in the crash.

A further investigation was conducted and officers learned the driver of the Jeep, a 35-year-old Zion man, was driving under the influence.

The driver was taken into custody and is facing multiple charges, including reckless driving, open container of alcohol, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving under the influence and operating an uninsured vehicle.

“Gurnee Police will continue to work diligently to ensure the safety of our community and its law enforcement officers,” Gaylor said.

The crash was the second police-involved crash that occurred in 24 hours in Gurnee.

The Gurnee Police Department conducted a traffic stop on southbound Route 41 just north of Route 120 around 9:50 p.m. Thursday on a vehicle driven by a wanted man.

Officers arrested the man and transported him to the county jail. An officer remained on the scene, so someone could come pick up the man’s vehicle.

Gaylor said the officer was sitting inside a marked patrol squad with lights flashing, which was positioned behind the stopped suspect’s car.

A 2017 Chevrolet Trax collided with the back of the squad car.

The officer was uninjured in the collision and rushed to assess the occupants of the Chevrolet, Gaylor said.

The officer worked to extricate the driver, a 63-year-old North Chicago woman, from the Chevrolet after it had caught fire.

A 61-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl, both North Chicago residents, were able to exit from their passenger seats without assistance, Gaylor said.

The Gurnee Fire Department arrived to extinguish the flames engulfing the Chevrolet.

The driver and the two passengers of the Chevrolet suffered minor injuries and were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

Gaylor said the driver of the Chevrolet was believed to have been intoxicated.

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