One dead after fiery crash on Illinois River bridge in Morris

Off-duty Cook County police officer killed

A fiery crash on Sunday afternoon on the Route 47 bridge over the Illinois River in Morris took the life of one person.

At 4:12 p.m. Sunday, the Morris Police Department was called to the Illinois River Bridge for a crash involving three vehicles.

According to police, the initial investigation shows a vehicle became disabled on the southbound decline of Route 47 over the Illinois River.

Another motorist, Ronald Prohaska of Chicago, stopped to assist to assist the stranded motorist. While working in the engine compartment of the disabled vehicle, a third southbound vehicle struck the disabled vehicle.

The three vehicles sustained major crash and fire damage. Multiple people were taken to Morris Hospital.

Prohaska was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

The Illinois River Bridge was closed for approximately five hours.

It has been confirmed with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office that Prohaska was an off-duty Cook County police officer.

Matthew Taylor of Morris was cited for failure to reduce speed. Morris police is continuing the investigation.

Anyone who might have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact Morris Police Investigation at 815-942-6504.

A witness to the crash said that several motorists stopped and helped pull victims from the burning vehicles. A woman who witnessed the crash performed CPR on a victim.

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, Morris Fire Department and Grundy County Emergency Management Agency assisted Morris police.