The death of Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Patrick O'Driscoll has saddened and stunned family, friends and co-workers. O'Driscoll was an Illinois state trooper for 26 years, serving in a wide array of assignments.
O'Driscoll died on Labor Day Monday when the jet ski he was on with his 9-year-old daughter was hit by a powerboat.
It was a freak accident on Lake Como, in Walworth County, not far from Lake Geneva, according to Wisconsin state investigators.
Forty-eight-year-old O'Driscoll was about 200 feet off shore from the vacation home he and family have had for many years. Authorities say, as the jet ski headed toward shore, an 18-foot power boat collided with it, in full view of O'Driscoll's wife and others who were attending Labor Day festivities on Lake Como.
O'Driscoll's daughter Maura was hospitalized but not seriously injured.
As a bagpiper with the famed Shannon Rovers for nearly 10 years, Master Sergeant O'Driscoll played at many funerals. On Monday, they will play at his.
In a statement, the Rovers said that O'Driscoll "had the gift of gab; and was a true Irishman, with the ability to smile and make people laugh."
O'Driscoll began his career in ISP District 3, served in District Chicago and on the Riverboat Gaming Unit. He became an attorney as well, and at the time of his death he was serving as chief sergeants steward for the Teamsters Union and assigned to the Office of Labor Relations and Special Projects.
A Teamster's statement said of O'Driscoll that he was "willing to stand up for what he believed in, didn't always make people happy, but felt strongly about protecting the rights of state patrolman."
Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau called O'Driscoll "a dedicated and honorable member of the department," and "his service will be remembered by the men and women of isp and the citizens he served."
The accident happened a little before 11 am on Labor Day. Alcohol is not suspected to have played a role.
Investigators say no tickets have been issued in connection with the accident and no charges have been lodged. Authorities have 15 days to submit reports to the district attorney who will make a final determination about citations in the case.