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$1.5 Million for Family of Police Officer Killed by Intoxicated Driver

The family of Chicago police officer Elton Jackson settled his wrongful death lawsuit against the Chicago firefighter whose fire truck struck and killed Jackson on April 24, 1993.

A Cook County judge entered the order dismissing the suit late yesterday afternoon.

Off-duty police officer Elton Jackson was riding a motorcycle when he was killed in a collision with the fire engine driven by Chicago firefighter Robert Janozik. City officials said Janozik was driving while intoxicated but he was never prosecuted.

The crash occurred at the intersection of 65th Street and Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago at approximately 9:45 in the evening. Officer Jackson, riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, was heading southbound on King Drive when he was struck, head-on, by the fire truck. Medical tests revealed that Mr. Janozik had a blood alcohol level of .12 at the moment of impact. In Illinois, a person with a blood alcohol reading of .08 is considered to be legally intoxicated. Officer Jackson was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Corboy & Demetrio attorneys Michael K. Demetrio and Kenneth T. Lumb expressed satisfaction with the settlement, though the attorneys were still critical of Janozik's actions. Lumb said, "He should never have been behind the wheel of a fire truck in such an intoxicated condition. His actions were inexcusable. The only consolation in this case is that today's settlement will allow Paula Jackson and her children to put their lives back together."

Officer Jackson's widow, Ms. Jackson, is now raising the couple's three young boys, Armand Jackson, age eight, and twins Jarell and Jaron Jackson, both seven years old. Ms. Jackson is employed as an air traffic controller at Midway Airport and lives in Flossmoor.

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