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Pontiac Police Officer Killed in Traffic Accident

PONTIAC - Updated: 29-year old Pontiac police K-9 officer Casey Kohlmeier and his K-9 Draco were killed in an accident on Interstate 55 Wednesday night.
PONTIAC - Updated:  The city of Pontiac mourns the loss of police K-9 officer Casey Kohlmeier, killed in the line of duty on Interstate 55 Wednesday night.

Twenty-nine-year-old Officer Kohlmeier and his K-9 partner, Draco, were parked in the turnaround median of the interstate just north of Pontiac around 9:30 p.m.

Police say a northbound vehicle hit Kohlmeier's squad car, killing him and his dog.

The driver of that vehicle was transported to a local hospital. Police are releasing very little information about this person or the accident.

The crash will be investigated by the Illinois State Police. The news of Officer Casey Kohlmeier's death spread quickly throughout this small Livingston County community. Those who knew him say it won't be easy to say good bye.

Pontiac Police Chief Jim Woolford struggled to find words Thursday morning.

"It's a hole that we're not prepared to fill right now," said Woolford.

Woolford remembers Officer Casey Kohlmeier as a hometown hero.

"Casey's life was just full of community contacts, doing whatever he can for whoever needs it," said Woolford.

Kohlmeier's young life was cut short on Interstate 55, doing a job he loved, with a friend, Draco, who'd been by his side for five years, who also died in the crash.

"It means a lot to us. There's not an officer in this community that doesn't regard Casey as a beloved friend. So, we're deeply wounded," said Woolford.

It's a moment the community has a hard time understanding, yet alone believing, could happen to a military man and community standout.

"One of the best human beings around. He was just a wonderful person, upbeat, always friendly and would go the extra mile for anyone," said Woolford.

Flags are at half staff, throughout Pontiac, remembering a man who once flew high for the U.S. Air Force and a man who dreamed of working for the FBI.

Now, they search for answers as they try to cope with the tragedy of losing one of their own.

"We'll go with whatever their wishes are, and as we move forward, taking care of our officers, making sure that they have the available resources for them and to move on as best as we can," said Woolford.

Funeral arrangements for Officer Kohlmeier have not been set.

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