A Wauconda High School math teacher was killed on Sunday after a suspected intoxicated driver crashed head-on into his vehicle in Wheeling.
The Wheeling Fire Department and Wheeling Police Department responded around 2:15 a.m. Sunday to Palatine Road and Wheeling Road in Wheeling for a vehicle crash with injuries.
Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Al Steffen said the incident occurred in the westbound lanes of Palatine Road just east of Wheeling Road.
A car was struck head-on by a suspected intoxicated driver.
Steffen said the suspected intoxicated driver was traveling eastbound in the wrong direction.
The car that was struck head-on was driven by a 53-year-old man, Steffen said.
Both vehicles involved had two occupants inside. The 53-year-old driver was pronounced dead on the scene.
He was later identified as Robert E. Gillen, 53, of Palatine, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
One of the other occupants involved suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The Northwest Suburban Major Case Assistance Team’s Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction unit was called to the scene.
Wauconda Community Unit School District 118 Superintendent Dr. David Wilm said Gillen was a math teacher and athletic trainer at Wauconda High School.
“The Wauconda District 118 community is saddened by the unexpected passing of Bob Gillen, a dedicated Math teacher, athletic trainer, and colleague. We join Bob’s family, students, staff, and community members in grieving this tragic loss,” Wilm said in a statement.
Gillen had been an active member of the Wauconda High School community since 1996.
“He dedicated his time to the education of students, the care of athletes, and the growth of colleagues. He loved helping others and was committed to fostering a positive environment for all. Bob leaves a lasting legacy, and his loss will be felt throughout our community,” Wilm said.
The school district encouraged its students, staff and community members to reach out and check in if they need additional support while navigating Gillen’s loss.