Off-Duty Cook County Investigator Fatally Struck in Chicago Ridge

An off-duty Cook County sheriff investigator was killed after colliding with another vehicle early Saturday in Chicago Ridge.

According to officials, the Chicago Ridge Police Department and Fire Department responded to a report of a “personal injury auto accident” in the 10100 block of Virginia Ave.

Police said they discovered two heavily damaged vehicles—a 2015 Nissan and a 2002 Chevrolet—at the scene.

A 16-year-old who was driving the Nissan stuck the Chevrolet where the off-duty officer was found trapped and unresponsive.

The victim, identified as 51-year-old James Koch, was transported to Christ Hospital where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

Koch was said to be off the clock and on his way home around midnight when the accident took place.

The teen was taken into custody and charged Saturday afternoon with felony reckless homicide, as well as no valid driver’s license, improper lane usage and driving too fast for conditions, police said.

Koch, an electronic monitoring investigator, was a 28-year veteran of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Sophia Ansari, the press secretary of the sheriff’s office, said.

“He was an incredible colleague and friend to so many,” Ansari said. “Our hearts are broken for his family, his friends, and all who were fortunate enough to know him.”

No other details were immediately known.

The incident is currently under investigation.

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