Bond was set Monday at $250,000 for an Orland Fire Protection District firefighter charged with reckless homicide in a fatal crash in Tinley Park, police said.
Patrick Bruce, 45, crashed into two vehicles at about 1:40 p.m. last Friday on 167th Street at Lockwood Avenue, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Witnesses said Bruce was driving a black SUV when he hit another vehicle and veered into oncoming traffic, striking an Oldsmobile.
The driver of the Oldsmobile, 25-year-old Anasis Knox of Downers Grove, was killed in the crash. Two others were transported to the hospital.
"She just wanted to buy a car and celebrate that she got her taxes," Knox's older sister, Tenika Knox-Johnson, said outside the courtroom Monday. "She was innocent. She didn't do anything wrong."
Knox-Johnson said her sister was a waitress and was taking online courses in human resource management through Colorado Technical University.
Bruce also was charged with reckless driving and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, police said. He had been on leave from work for an injury, and according to prosecutors, Bruce admitted to being on pain medication for the injury at the time of the crash.
Knox's family members say the $250,000 bond is too low for a man who they say, as a 26-year veteran of the fire department, should be protecting lives.
"It's his job to save and to protect lives and he took one and it was reckless," said Knox's father, Timothy Knox Nyholm.
The crash is under investigation, and the fire district shared their condolences for the family of the victim in a statement.
Bruce is scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday.