CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Bolingbrook police officer, his parents, and his brother were killed in a car crash Monday in Ireland.
Officer Stephen Alexander, 49, and his family were attending a funeral in Ireland at the time of the crash near New Ross, Ireland, according to a statement from the Bolingbrook Police Department. Officer Alexander; his father, Doug; his mother, Lily; and his brother, Doug Jr.; were killed in the crash.
According to the Irish Times, the crash happened on a bend in the main road between New Ross and Wexford. The Alexander family's car and a truck were both headed east when they collided. State police in Ireland were investigating the possibility the crash happened as the car was making a right turn.
A 17-year veteran of the department, Alexander was the valedictorian of his class at the Cook County Police Academy in 2001, police said. He also received the Top Marksman award at the academy.
"Steve was assigned to the Bolingbrook Park District as a park patrol officer. He was also an assistant team leader for the Raid Entry and Containment Team and was the lead department instructor in defensive tactics and use of force. Steve was also an instructor for firearms, rapid deployment, and breaching," the department stated.
Alexander received the department's Life Saving Award in 2013, its Top Gun Award, and was nominated as officer of the year in 2014 and 2015.
"Steve devoted his time to the community and taught self-defense classes and self-confidence skills to women and girl scouts at the Bolingbrook Park District. Steve was a member of "Beat the Heat" a non-profit organization which focused on community outreach to improve driver safety and police community relations. He also enjoyed racing his vintage Camaro drag racing car and talking to children about vehicle and driving safety. Steve recently hosted and organized a Squad Car Night at the Bolingbrook Promenade in partnership with the Illinois Special Olympics which attracted police vehicles from all over the state. The event was concluded with a "parade of lights"; a vehicle procession through the main street of the Promenade," the department stated.
Bolingbrook Public Safety Director Ken Teppel called Alexander "an exemplary officer who took great pride in his law enforcement career and who devoted himself to protecting and serving the citizens of Bolingbrook."
"Steve will be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him and we will forever keep the Alexander family in our thoughts and our prayers," Teppel stated.
Alexander is survived by two daughters, ages 11 and 10.
for more features.