Sergeant John H. Kugelman

Sergeant John H. Kugelman

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, November 10, 1986

John H. Kugelman

Sergeant John Kugelman was killed in a vehicle crash while assisting another agency with a vehicle pursuit at the interchange of I-290 and I-355 in Itasca.

Officers from the Hoffman Estates Police Department were attempting to stop a car speeding within their city limits. The driver fled, leading to a chase at speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. Sergeant John Kugelman monitored the chase on the radio and positioned himself ahead of it. Sergeant Kugelman stepped onto the road and pulled his service revolver in an attempt to deter the speeding car, but the driver made no attempt to swerve or slow down. Sergeant Kugelman was struck and thrown 20 feet into the air.

He was flown to Loyola University Medical Center, in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver was pulled over by a rolling roadblock approximately two miles from where Sergeant Kugelman was struck. Officers then learned the 17-year-old was wanted on a warrant for violating the terms of his temporary release from the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was tried on three counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide. He was subsequently sentenced to 32 years. He was paroled in 2002 after serving less than half of his sentence.

Sergeant Kugelman had served with the Illinois State Police for three years and had previously served as a military police officer. On July 30th, 1987, the District 2 Headquarters in Elgin was rededicated in honor of Sergeant Kugelman. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

He is survived by his wife, parents, sister and nephew.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 3065
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Paroled in 2002


Most Recent Reflection

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Today I finally “Googled” John H. Kugelman after driving by the sign so many times and seeing his name, and wondering what had happened. What a brave police officer, and a true hero! It is always a sad moment when I see the sign, and now I can add a sense of heroic duty to this fine, young man. He is a true angel!
Sergeant Kugelman certainly demonstrated heroism and valor in his short time in service. Let it be known that is remembered and missed! Thank you for dedicating the Memorial Interchange to him!

Ms. Jill Kainu
fellow citizen

May 11, 2018

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