Man Charged in Death of Hometown Officer Killed While Investigating Crash

The suspect attempted to run away from the scene after striking the officer, but was apprehended by other officers

Tim Olk/Chicago Police Department

Police have arrested an Oak Lawn man who struck and killed a Hometown police lieutenant while he was investigating a separate accident early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Otis Pruitt, 23, was charged with reckless homicide, felony driving under the influence and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Lt. James Kouski, 58, was directing traffic at approximately 3 a.m. at the intersection of 90th Place and Pulaski Road when he was struck by a Nissan Altima driven by Pruitt, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said.

Pruitt attempted to run away from the scene after striking Kouski, but was apprehended on foot by responding officers.

Kouski was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he was pronounced dead at 4:38 a.m.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries and was found to have a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit - .08 - three hours after the crash, police said.

On Saturday, Chicago Police Department officers joined in a procession escorting Kouski from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Pruitt remained hospitalized Monday, but a bond hearing was held in his absence at the Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview.

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