Police Officer Chauncey B. Esch

Police Officer Chauncey B. Esch

Oak Park Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, January 21, 1938

Chauncey B. Esch

Officer Chauncey Esch was struck and killed by a train while escorting a prisoner back to the police station.

Officer Esch had chased down and captured a 16-year-old purse snatcher. At the time, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad station on Marion Street was located at ground level and Officer Esch was walking his prisoner back to the station along the railroad embankment. They were just west of the train station when Officer Esch was struck from behind by a backing eastbound passenger train. Five cars and the tender passed over him, fracturing his skull and amputating both his legs. His prisoner was uninjured and testified at the inquest that he had not seen nor heard the train until suddenly there was a thud and Officer Esch disappeared beneath its wheels. Evidence was also submitted that suggested the lights on the train that struck him were inadequate.

Officer Esch had served with the Oak Park Police Department for 10 years and spent the majority of his career in the ''Lake-Marion-Harlem'' district. He was survived by his wife and three children. Officer Esch was buried in Elm Lawn Cemetery in Elmhurst.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge 300

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by train

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Esch's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 9-22-17 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police

September 22, 2017

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