Firefighter pleads innocent in fatal crash
By Mike Nolan email@example.com April 12, 2013 11:14PM
Updated: May 15, 2013 6:47AM
An Orland Fire Protection District and Crestwood firefighter has pleaded innocent to felony reckless homicide charges stemming from a March 1 crash that killed a 25-year-old woman.
Patrick Bruce, 45, of Oak Forest, entered the plea Thursday at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview. He’s also charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and reckless driving and is next due in court May 17.
Prosecutors said Bruce was on prescription pain medication and was speeding and weaving between lanes before the crash on 167th Street near Oak Forest. They said his Lincoln Navigator at one point crossed into oncoming traffic, slamming into an Oldsmobile being driven by a Downers Grove woman.
Bruce has been on leave from the Orland fire district, where he works as a lieutenant, since July because of a work-related injury. He also works part time as deputy fire chief in Crestwood.