Mourners Turn Out for Pontiac Officer's Funeral - NBC Chicago

Mourners Turn Out for Pontiac Officer's Funeral



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    Casey Kohlmeier and his K-9 companion, Draco

    A long line of mourners, including officers with police dogs, gathered in central Illinois to remember a Pontiac officer who was killed in a crash.

    A funeral was held Saturday for 29-year-old Casey Kohlmeier, who died along with his canine partner Draco on Oct. 30. Authorities say Kohlmeier's vehicle was hit by a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 55 near Pontiac, about 85 miles southwest of Chicago.

    Officials from the Duffy-Baier-Snedecor Funeral Home told The Bloomington Pantagraph that some mourners waited in three-hour-long line to attend a morning visitation.

    Pontiac Police Chief Jim Woolford said Kohlmeier was an exceptional officer who quickly excelled after he joined the force.

    Officer Kohlmeier was sitting in the median along I-55 shortly after midnight when he was struck by another vehicle, Woolford said.

    The dog, Draco, was also killed.

    "This is a hole we can't fill," Woolford said as he fought back tears.

    Woolford said Pontiac, located about 100 miles southwest of Chicago between Joliet and Bloomington, hadn't lost an officer in the line of duty for at least 19 years.

    A 33-year-old from South Carolina is charged with aggravated driving under the influence for the wreck.