Lieutenant L.C. Merrell

April 29, 2000

Written by 100Clubillinois

On April 29, 2000, Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant L.C. Merrell was on duty with Truck 24, his regular assignment. Truck 24, along with the 21st Battalion, responded to a residential fire on W. 110th Street. After extinguishing the fire at 11:46AM, Truck 24 and the 21st Battalion were dispatched to another fire call on S. Carpenter Street.

Truck 24 proceeded northbound on Throop Street with lights and sirens. The 21st Battalion Chief Paul Sobczak followed. Chief Sobczak stated he was approximately 50’ to 75’ behind the truck as they approached 107th Street and Throop.

As they approached the corner of Throop and 107th Street, Truck 24 slowed down and proceeded midway through the intersection. The driver heard Merrell yell “Move it! Move it!” and saw a westbound pick-up truck entering the intersection. The pick-up truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and ignored the stop sign. The pick-up truck hit Truck 24 on the right side, just behind the point where Merrell was seated. Merrell was thrown from the fire apparatus.

The impact caused the pick-up truck to hit another vehicle, the driver of which later confirmed that the pick-up truck had ignored the stop sign. After the impact, the driver of Truck 24 regained control of the apparatus approximately 100 feet from the point of impact.

Firefighters immediately jumped out of the apparatus and ran to Merrell to start CPR. An EMS Plan I was instituted for all the injured victims. All the members of Truck 24 were taken to Christ Hospital with a variety of injuries. Ambulance 5 transported Merrell to Christ Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 12:18PM.

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