CHICAGO (CBS) — An Illinois trooper was killed by a wrong-way driver and he is being laid to rest on Friday.
Family and friends gathered in the northern suburbs to remember Gerald Ellis.
CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen has the story from Grayslake.
The funeral took place at the College of Lake County. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker came to pay his respects as well as hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the state.
Reverend Harold Stanger presided over the funeral. Trooper John Paul Oliveto performed the national anthem.
Trooper Ellis was 36 years old. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters. They said he was a man who loved his family. He was dedicated to his job and would lend a helping hand without being asked.
The 11-year veteran was assigned to District 15 in Downers Grove. He also served with the United States Army Reserves.
Last weekend Ellis was driving home on the Tri-State Tollway when he was hit by a wrong-way driver going east in the westbound lanes.
The incident took place early Saturday morning in Green Oaks. The wrong-way driver was also killed in the crash.
One man who felt compelled to attend the funeral said for the past year, the trooper would always stop by his store to pick up coffee. He said he saw the trooper the day before he was killed.
“I actually started tearing up. I always saw him as a role model. He taught me a couple of life lessons. I think he was just an amazing officer,” said acquaintance Sergio Conejo.
The trooper’s burial will be private.
To help the trooper’s family, donations can be made to the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation.