Patrolman John J. O'Donnell

Patrolman John J. O'Donnell

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, August 9, 1942

Add to My Heroes

John J. O'Donnell

Patrolman John O'Donnell was struck and killed by a drunk driver while he was loading an accident victim into a police ambulance at the intersection of Diversey Avenue and Kilbourn Avenue.

The drunk driver crashed into the back of the ambulance, crushing Policeman O'Donnell between the two vehicles.

The suspect was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Patrolman O'Donnell was assigned to the Cragin Station.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Charged with manslaughter

accident scene

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Officer John O'Donnell, Sir:

Recently, I watched a programme which dealt with your tragically unfair death at the hands of a drunk driver whilst you were aiding an injured citizen. You had so much to live for: a young wife and new baby, a promising career ahead. You had so much left to do in your life. Your chance was taken from you by a selfish and uncaring individual. I will not name that man here, as his actions were completely without honour, and he deserves to be forgotton.

Unfortunately, drink driving was not thought to be the crime then that it is now, rightfully so. To my mind, it is murder. The killing of a police officer, especially in the line of duty, should be treated as a first degree offense, as no one forced the drunken sod behind the wheel. The moment he chose to do so, his vehicle became a deadly weapon. When death results from his (or her) use of it whilst under the influence, no capital punishment is too severe.

Thank you, sir, for your brave and dedicated service, and, to all your brother officers around the globe, especially those whose lives were changed or ended in a similar manner. Life is a gift. No one should take it for granted, and NO ONE has the right to take it from another.

Rest in peace, John. I would be honoured to meet you one day, when we both stand upon that farther shore, and shake your hand.

Lisa Hammond
Private Citizen

June 17, 2018

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