A portion of I-94 in Green Oaks will be renamed after Trooper Gerald Ellis, who was killed in March when he used his squad car to hit a wrong-way driver, saving an entire family traveling in a nearby car.
Illinois State Police, elected officials, family members, friends and colleagues are set to pay tribute to fallen the fallen trooper, officials said.
A half-mile stretch of highway on Interstate 94 from mile marker 16.5 to 17 in Green Oaks will be officially dedicated as Trooper Gerald W. Ellis Memorial Highway, according to Illinois State Police.
A dedication ceremony will be held on October 21 at 10 a.m. at the Townline Community Park, 1555 Kennedy Road in Lake Forest. A procession to the dedication site will conclude the ceremony and the public is encouraged to pay tribute near the dedication site on the Bradley Road overpass.
Illinois State Police said that Trooper Ellis was on-duty around 3:25 a.m. March 30 traveling home in his squad car on westbound Interstate 94 near mile marker 16.75 in Green Oaks. A wrong-way driver was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.
Trooper Ellis saw the vehicle, which was being driven by Dan Davies, 44, of Calumet City, traveling the wrong way and Ellis moved his squad car into the lane Davies was traveling in order to block the car from hitting anyone else.
Trooper Ellis crashed head-on with the wrong-way driver and was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where he was later pronounced dead. Davies, who was under the influence of alcohol, also died in the crash.
“Trooper Gerald Ellis you are my HERO. This officer paid the ultimate sacrifice early this morning and saved my daughter’s life,” Carrie Kay said in a Facebook post in March.
“She was traveling home from Washington D.C. with a family she babysits for. From what we were told Trooper Ellis was directly ahead of them two lanes over and moved his squad car into their lane to block a wrong way driver on interstate I-94 in Illinois from hitting the car she was in,” Kay said.
“Thank you God and Officer Ellis for letting her and the others in that car come back home to us. We are so ever grateful to you,” Kay added.
Trooper Ellis was an 11-year veteran of the Illinois State Police District 15 in Downers Grove. He was also a veteran of the United States Military. He left behind a wife, two children, his parents and his brother.