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Bloomingdale Police Officer Dies In Crash

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Bloomingdale police officer was killed in a crash Thursday night while responding to a call.

Bloomingdale Police Chief Frank Giammarese said Officer Raymond Murrell was responding to a call about a crime in progress at a store on Army Trail Road when he lost control of his unmarked police SUV, and slammed into a light pole at Army Trail Road and Cardinal Avenue around 9:30 p.m.

The impact was so severe, Murrell had to be extricated from the vehicle, which was left unrecognizable after the crash.

Murrell was taken to GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, where he was pronounced dead.

Giammarese said Murrell was the first officer killed in the line of the duty in the village's history. The chief said he believes the rainy weather overnight was a factor in the crash, as at least one eyewitness said Murrell's vehicle was "hydroplaning" before it hit the pole.

Murrell had been with the department for less than a year, but had "a great future ahead of him."

"He made such an impact in less than a year on our police department," Giammarese said.

In October, Murrell and his training officer received a life-saving award, after they helped save the life of a man who was having a heart attack, according to Giammarese.

"Just a great guy, loved by our department. We are so sad, and just with heavy hearts. It's a sad day for us to lose one of our officers," he said. "Horrible, just devastating. To see a young kid, it's almost like losing a child in a sense."

Police said it was not clear how fast Murrell was going at the time of the crash, but Giammarese said the SUV's emergency lights were on. The SUV did not have a dashboard camera system.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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