DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy, veteran killed in Waterman crash

State police: Deputy’s parked squad car rear-ended by commercial truck that went off road

DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputy Christina Musil, 35, a five-year member of the office, was killed Thursday, March 28, 2024, after her squad car was rear-ended by a truck, according to the Illinois State Police. Musil also was a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, the sheriff's office said.

WATERMAN – A DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy and veteran who served in Afghanistan was killed while on duty Thursday in DeKalb County after the deputy’s parked vehicle was rear-ended by a commercial truck, authorities said.

Deputy Christina Musil, 35, died while working a shift for the sheriff’s office Thursday night, according to a statement Friday from DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Sullivan.

“[Musil] passed at the hospital,” Sullivan said in an emotional interview Friday morning.

In a follow-up statement put out later Friday, Sullivan identified Musil “with a heavy heart and deep sadness.”

“Deputy Musil is a five-year veteran of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office who courageously served in the corrections and patrol divisions,” Sullivan said in his statement. “Deputy Musil also proudly served her country in the Army National Guard as a military police officer for four years and served in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009.”

A bundle of flowers had been placed about 11 a.m. Friday near the crash location in Waterman. A squad car draped in purple cloth with flowers also was set up by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, memorializing the deputy on the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn Friday afternoon in downtown Sycamore.

A DeKalb County Sheriff’s vehicle with black and purple bunting sits in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore Friday, March 29, 2024, as a memorial to DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Christina Musil, 35, who died in a crash while working a shift Thursday night.

As word of Musil’s death spread, online tributes from local officials and area law enforcement agencies did, too.

State Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, offered his condolences through a social media post.

“My heart is broken. God bless [the] DeKalb [County] Sheriff’s Office and our first responders everywhere for the work they do that puts them in the face of dangers known and unknown,” Keicher wrote.

Posts from Shabbona, Genoa, DeKalb and Sycamore law enforcement agencies, including fire departments, offered condolences to the sheriff’s office.

“We stand with you during this difficult time,” DeKalb fire officials wrote in a Friday Facebook post to their “brothers and sisters.”

Photos of Musil’s sheriff’s deputy badge, No. 42, were posted online.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Musil’s family, friends, law enforcement and military colleagues. Deputy Musil’s dedicated service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Sycamore police officials wrote.

“She will be missed by many,” Genoa police wrote.

Sullivan said funeral arrangements are pending, and more details will be announced once they are confirmed.

A tow truck sits near a memorial Friday, March 29, 2024, at the site on Route 23 three-quarters of a mile south Perry Road, where a DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy was killed in a crash early Friday morning in DeKalb County. Ruts in the grass and skid marks were visible at the cash site.

The crash occurred about three-quarters of a mile south of the intersection of Perry Road and Route 23, Sullivan said.

Illinois State Police were requested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office to the scene of the crash Thursday night.

The crash remains under investigation by state police and the DeKalb County Coroner’s Office.

About 10:39 p.m. Thursday, a DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy was sitting inside a parked squad car on the shoulder of Route 23, “when for an unknown reason,” a single-unit Kenworth truck ran off the road to the right and rear-ended the deputy’s car, according to an email from state police public information officer Melissa Albert-Lopez.

Musil was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital with injuries that were life-threatening. She died soon after.

Authorities had not yet publicly identified the driver of the truck as of Friday afternoon.

“The Illinois State Police sends its condolences and support to the family and friends of the deputy killed in the line of duty, as well as to our brethren at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office,” Illinois State Police wrote in a news release.

The area just north of Thursday’s deadly crash is not unfamiliar with severe collisions.

In December, Sullivan told the Daily Chronicle that his office had taken notice of the deadly reputation of the Route 23 and Perry Road intersection in rural Afton Township, south of DeKalb and north of Waterman.

That intersection is expected to undergo updated safety features, including flashing red lights on top of the intersection’s stop signs and flashing yellow lights on Route 23 at the intersection ahead signs, county engineer Nathan Schwartz told the DeKalb County Board in February.

The intersection for years has faced criticism spawned by what some have called a trend of severe traffic crashes.

On Nov. 4, a 22-year-old woman died and three others, including a child, suffered injuries after a two-vehicle crash near the rural intersection.

Two people had to be extricated from their vehicles by first responders in March 2018 and were taken by paramedics to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital after a two-vehicle crash there.

Three others were hospitalized after a crash at the same location in October 2022.

This is a developing story that was updated at 11:33 a.m. March 29, with more information from Illinois State Police. Another update was made at 12:12 p.m. with information on the deputy. A 12:28 p.m. update added a statement from state Rep. Jeff Keicher. The story was updated at 4:37 p.m. Additional updates could occur.

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