Police officer James Morrissy dies after Oak Forest crash

March 18, 2014 (OAK FOREST, Ill.)

The 62-year-old was the first officer from the Oak Forest department to die in the line of duty.

The accident happened Monday afternoon in Oak Forest just after 2 p.m. Morrissy was driving to help a fellow officer on a domestic situation and was making a left turn from 160th Street to Cicero Avenue. A car traveling south on Cicero hit the driver's side of the squad car, trapping Morrissy inside.

He was in critical condition when he was finally cut free from his car and taken in a police procession to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn where he died. Morrissy was a 30-year veteran of the police force, he was a husband and father of three sons. And by all accounts, the kind of person others could look up to.

"I would call him feisty. And I say that very kindly. Jim was a very trusted member of the police department. One of the things I like to comment on - he had a gruff side to him but he also had a very tender side to him," said Gregory Anderson, Police Chief.

"I was at the hospital last night. Just about the entire force and members from other communities were there just to show support for the family," said Oak Forest's mayor.

The accident is still under investigation but police say there will be no charges filed against the other driver in this crash.

Morrissy, of the 15000 block of Laramie Avenue in Oak Forest, was pronounced dead at 8:02 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

The other vehicle's driver was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest with "minor injuries," according to a news release.

"We at the Oak Forest Police Department are proud to have served with Jim," Anderson said in the release. "It is difficult to express our feelings for him. He was extremely dedicated and died while responding to assist another officer."

Earlier Monday, Morrissy was reported in "serious to critical" condition but with non-life threatening injuries. A cause of death wasn't available Monday night.

Morrissy was a hard worker who always kept his fellow officers on their toes, Anderson said. He served as a field training officer for the department and was responsible for helping mold new officers.

"He was basically the first contact the new recruits had," Anderson said.

Traffic in both directions was blocked for more than three hours after the crash.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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