Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Patrolman Benjamin Wilcher was killed when another patrol car collided with his patrol car during a vehicle pursuit.
Both officers were involved in a high-speed pursuit of a suspect who had stolen his girlfriend's vehicle after forcing her out of the car. Patrolman Wilcher was traveling eastbound on 35th Avenue when his patrol car was broadsided by the other officer who was traveling southbound on Virginia Street. The injured officers were transported to Northlake Methodist Hospital before Patrolman Wilcher was flown to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he died during surgery.
The 27-year-old suspect was arrested a half-hour later after officers found him hiding in the attic at the girlfriend's house. He was charged with battery, auto theft, carjacking and resisting law enforcement. In January 2008, the charges against him were dismissed.
Patrolman Wilcher was survived by his wife, 2-year-old and 2-month-old sons, parents, sister and brother.