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Man charged with DUI in crash that killed Pontiac officer, K-9 partner

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

A South Carolina man has been charged with aggravated DUI after his pickup truck hit a Pontiac police officer’s patrol vehicle, killing the officer and his K-9 partner, Draco, on Interstate 55 just north of the downstate town Wednesday, officials said.

Jason C. Collins, 33, has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence after Casey Kohlmeier, 29, was killed when his patrol SUV was struck in a median turnaround at Route 23 about 9:30 p.m., according to an Illinois State Police news release. Charges were brought by the Livingston County State’s Attorney’s Office Thursday evening.

Collins, of West Columbia, S.C., was driving a pickup north on I-55 near the Route 23 exit when the pickup left the roadway and hit the patrol car, police said.

Collins was arrested by Illinois State Police, who were investigating the crash, after he was discharged from the hospital Thursday evening, police said.

A memorial service for the officer is scheduled for today at Pontiac High School. According to his obituary, he has family in Grundy County.

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