Illinois police officer and K-9 partner killed in crash

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Editor's note:  This story was updated after a South Carolina man was charged in connection with the crash.  Read that update - click here.

A Pontiac, Illinois police officer and his K-9 partner died when their car was involved in a wreck on Interstate 55.

The crash happened at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Livingston County.

Police said 29-year-old officer Casey Kohlmeier and his dog, Draco, were on-duty in a marked cruiser, parked in a median turnaround on I-55 just north of Illinois 23, when the cruiser was reportedly struck by a northbound vehicle.  Heavy rain was reported in the area at the time of the crash.

Kohlmeier and Draco were both reportedly pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  The driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized.  State Police continued to investigate the wreck.

Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau offered condolences to the Pontiac Police Department.

“Our thought and prayers are also extended to Officer Kohlmeier’s family, friends, fellow officers and the Pontiac community,” Grau said.

Kohlmeier joined the Pontiac Police Department in January 2007.