An off-duty Wauconda and Holiday Hills police officer and his wife were seriously injured after they were struck by a wrong-way driver on the interstate, their family said.
The crash happened around 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday on Interstate 39 in Ogle County south of Rockford.
The Illinois State Police said the crash involved three vehicles.
A Honda, driven by Clearthis Gardner, 79, of Maywood, was traveling northbound when it crossed into the southbound lanes.
The Honda struck a Toyota RAV4, driven by Timothy Geroulis, 29, of Plainfield, state police said.
The Toyota went airborne and struck a Chevrolet Malibu, which was also traveling southbound.
Five occupants of the vehicles were injured and Gardner was pronounced dead, state police said.
Geroulis is a police officer who works for the Holiday Hills Police Department and for the Wauconda Police Department’s Marine Unit.
He was transported to the hospital in critical condition and was in a coma with major internal injuries and broken bones.
Geroulis’ wife, Michelle Geroulis, 30, of Plainfield, was also seriously injured with a spinal cord injury and multiple broken bones. Michelle Geroulis is a registered nurse who works with families and children.
A family friend told Lake and McHenry County Scanner the couple has “years of recovery ahead” with no ability to work, pay their mortgage, car loans and other expenses. “They are going to need every bit of help we can send their way.”
A MealTrain fundraiser for the couple was set up by Danielle Weston, who is Michelle Geroulis’ sister.
The account has raised almost $13,000 as of Wednesday, far surpassing the initial $500 goal.
“Michelle and Tim have a long road of rehabilitation and recovery, mentally, physically and financially. As we don’t know the extent of Tim’s recovery just yet we do know they are going to need our support in getting them through this tragic accident,” Weston said.