Illinois police officer chasing pickup dies in crash


May 21, 2010
McHenry Co, IL

Illinois police officer chasing pickup dies in crash

The Illinois State Police were searching Wednesday for the driver of a red Dodge pickup they say was involved in a police chase that ended in the death of a Cowden, Ill., police officer.

The police officer was killed Tuesday night while chasing the truck in Effingham County, police said.

A passenger in the squad car, Jessica Stuckemeyer, 22, was treated for injuries and released from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Cowden Mayor Lorne Barnes said Stuckemeyer was doing a ride-along to gain experience in preparation for entering the police academy.

The driver of the pickup, described as short and stocky with dark hair, left a gas station in Staunton about 6:40 p.m. without paying for about $100 of fuel, authorities said. The diesel truck was described as having no license plates, a raised chassis and oversized wheels.

Illinois State Police ask anyone with information about the driver or truck to call 217-347-2711.

Authorities have not released the officer's name. Barnes, however, identified him as Jeremy Hubbard, 35, of Effingham.

Hubbard crashed about 8:15 p.m. about a mile south of the junction of U.S. Highway 40 and Illinois Route 128, police said. He lost control of his squad car and was ejected as the car flipped several times into a cornfield. Hubbard was pronounced dead at Greenville Regional Hospital in Bond County.

Cowden, a village of about 600 people about 100 miles northeast of St. Louis, has a part-time police force: Hubbard and one other officer.

Barnes said the crash site was at least 15 miles south of Cowden. He said he did not know why Hubbard had traveled that far outside Cowden village limits.

Hubbard had served Cowden's police department for three to four years, Barnes said. "He was a top-notch police officer," Barnes said. "He was very polite. He was very quiet, but when he talked, people understood. That's one thing I really liked about him, how well he conducted himself. I would put him up against anybody."

His wife, Trisha Hubbard, said her husband loved being a police officer so that he could help people. His goal was to become a full-time officer.

She said she was told her husband started chasing the pickup after it ran a stop sign and had no plates.

"He died doing what he loved to do," said Trisha Hubbard, 35. "He lived it. He loved it."

Hubbard had two sons, Dylan, 13, and Jordan, 8.

"Their dad was everything to them," Trisha Hubbard said.

Funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday.


May 23, 2010
My question is why did the officer chase a suspect with a rider on board. He should of never chased somebody with a rider on board. But still a very sad story.


May 20, 2010
Maryland, USA
First and foremost, this is why I like having more restrictive chase policies. How do you tell his children that daddy died over $100 in gas? I can understand violent crimes, but petty larceny??? And without a seatbelt??? Secondly, my department has a policy that I have to leave a pursuit as quickly as possible if I have a ride-along.

May he rest in peace, may his family find some peace, and hopefully the driver is found and charged with manslaughter.

Ben E.

May 21, 2010
Iowa, USA
I probably would have dumped the rider and told her to get a ride and head home, but I can understand in the adrenaline rush of it all why that may not have been a priority from him. No seat belt is ridiculous, another senseless law enforcement death.

Constructive criticism and learning experiences for other officers aside, Rest in Peace, brother.


May 7, 2010
Northwest Ohio
Ejected? that usually equals unrestrained.


May 21, 2010
Where this happened is a very small rural area, where everyone knows (or is related) to each other. Pursuit policies are very few and far between down there.

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