Pontiac officer killed in line of duty laid to rest; Casey Kohlmeier, K9 partner Draco struck by vehicle on I-55 median
November 2, 2013 (PONTIAC, Ill.) (WLS) -- Observers say the funeral Saturday for a Pontiac, Ill., police officer killed in the line of duty Wednesday night was the biggest such remembrance ever in the region.
Twenty-nine-year old officer Casey Kohlmeier died when an accused drunk driver plowed into his SUV as he was taking on extra duties, action typical of cop who had a huge future.
The bagpipes' dirge summons the first responder family, police, fire, emergency medical services, this time 100 miles southwest of Chicago, to lay to rest a young man who embodied the best of their commitment to service.
"Casey was lost serving the people of this fine county and unfortunately with Casey going the extra mile like, he always does this is what actually has cost him his life," said Dwight Chief of Police Tim Henson.
He was parked in the median of I-55 Wednesday night when a driver, allegedly drunk, plowed into his police vehicle. Kohlmeier and his K-9 partner of 5 years, Draco, were killed.
"The family at least knows what their loved one was doing was God's work and doing the good thing for everyone," said Toni Hardesty, President, Concerns of Police Survivors.
After serving in the Unites States Air Force, Kohlmeier had returned to his hometown, realizing a calling he'd articulated at an early age. He worked every kind of detail from traffic to pro-active drug and gang investigations.
"Casey did that with pride, great pride and I cannot put into words how fine of a young man Casey Kohlmeier was," said Livingston County Sheriff Chief Deputy Tony Childress.
That was the sentiment on the minds of the thousands who only get together in numbers like this for high school football playoffs. The loss of a young role model will be felt around her for a long time.
"(It) tells you what kind of impact he and his dog and the profession have on this area," said Mike Stoecklin.
Jason Collins has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence. He was arrested Thursday night after being released from the hospital.
local, ravi baichwal
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