Maple Park police officer rear-ended by DeKalb drunk driver: Cops

Driver in Friday night crash accused of second Scott’s Law violation this spring in DeKalb County

A Maple Park police car sits in the parking lot of the Maple Park Police Department, 308 Willow St., in Maple Park on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

MAPLE PARK – A DeKalb man has been charged after authorities allege he drove drunk and rear-ended a Maple Park police car, injuring the officer inside late Friday night.

The crash is stark in its similarity to the fatal one that shook the DeKalb County community about a month ago, when DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Christina Musil was parked in her squad car on the side of a rural Waterman road and rear-ended by a car allegedly driven by Nathan Sweeney of DeKalb, who’s charged with reckless homicide and DUI drugs in the crash that killed Musil, 35, a mother of three.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato, who’s office will prosecute the Friday crash as it’s doing in the Musil case, issued strong words of warning Saturday.

“People need to pay attention and be vigilant,” Amato said in a statement Saturday to Shaw Local News Network. “It’s not hard to slow down and move over whenever someone is on the side of the road, especially if it’s an officer in a squad car actively doing their job. If you’ve been drinking to a chance of impairment or if you have consumed drugs, stay off our roads!”

Dale L. Martin, 62, of DeKalb is charged with DUI, aggravated failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The charges allege he violated Scott’s Law, which requires Illinois motorists to move over or slow down when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.

The front door of the Maple Park Police Department, 306 Willow St., Maple Park on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

DeKalb County sheriff’s deputies – who lost Musil on March 29 – responded to the Maple Park crash, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Police said the Maple Park officer was parked in a marked Ford Explorer squad card with his emergency overhead lights activated initiating a traffic stop at Illinois Route 38 and Hinckley Road in Maple Park. The officer had a Maple Park citizen ride-along passenger inside, authorities said.

About 10:40 p.m., Martin was driving a 2016 Ford Fiesta and failed to yield to the Maple Park police car, striking the back of the vehicle and pushing it into a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that the officer had pulled over. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was driven by a 21-year-old from Oak Park, according to the sheriff’s office.

Maple Park paramedics took the injured police officer to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb. Authorities had not released information on his condition as of 12:42 p.m. Saturday.

Maple Park Police Chief Randy Endean was not immediately available for comment.

DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Sullivan – who gave an emotional eulogy in front of hundreds of mourners during Musil’s public funeral April 4 – said there’s “no excuse” for anyone to get behind the wheel while impaired.

“There is no excuse for this to keep happening in our communities, here another police officer was injured while performing his duties because of someone’s choice to drive a vehicle while impaired,” Sullivan said. “Unfortunately, as we all know this not only happens to police officers being struck on the side of the road but also to every day citizens who are involved in motor vehicle crashes with someone who chose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There is no reason for people to be driving this way and there are many alternatives with ride share services to get a safe ride home. Thankfully, there were no fatalities involved with this crash. My thoughts remain with the Maple Park Police officer and hope that he recovers from his injuries soon.”

The Village of Maple Park sign on Willow Street is seen on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

• This story was updated at 4:55 p.m. May 4, 2024, with comment from DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Sullivan. Additional updates could occur.

Have a Question about this article?