December 23, 2000 – LODD
Lieutenant Scott Gillen, 37 – Truck 27
Chicago Fire Department. Chicago, IL
At 2:38 AM, Truck 27 was dispatched to assist Ambulance 37 at an accident at 11400 South Bishop Ford Expressway. Upon arrival, Truck 27 positioned itself to protect both the ambulance and the entire accident scene from the flow of traffic. The apparatus was positioned to block the inside and center traffic lanes. Two state police cars were positioned behind the ladder truck in a further attempt to divert traffic. According to the driver of Truck 27, Gillen was retrieving a piece of equipment from the rear of the apparatus when a civilian automobile illegally crossed into the center lane and ran over a line of flares in an attempt to slip by traffic to cut in front of a tractor trailer that was traveling in the outside lane. The automobile struck the tractor trailer on the front passenger side, causing the car to rotate in a counterclockwise manner. The car struck Gillen and pinned him against the rear bumper of the fire truck. Gillen suffered multiple injuries to his lower extremities. . His legs were crushed in the collision, and he had lost a substantial amount of blood. He was transported by the University of Illinois Hospital helicopter to Christ Hospital where he died 10 hours later from his injuries. The driver of the car that struck Lieutenant Gillen was under the influence of alcohol and was driving on a suspended driver’s license. He was later charged with reckless homicide. There were no injuries in the original collision. Lieutenant Gillen had been promoted to lieutenant just two weeks prior to his death. The Chicago fire commissioner was quoted as saying “I have a hard time calling this an accident, this was a crime, an absolute crime”. As a result of this tragedy, “Scott’s Law” was created and passed in the state of Illinois.