Off-duty St. Louis police officer dies in car crash

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Courtesy: Fox2Now St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Mo (FOX2) – An off-duty St. Louis County police officer has died after being involved in a three-vehicle accident Thursday night.

According to Fox2, the crash happened around 11:00 p.m. on Route 159 north of Hecker, Illinois.

According to the Illinois State Police Department, a Hyundai Sonata was passing a semi-truck heading northbound when it collided with a Dodge Caravan head-on. The Hyundai then reportedly spun back into the northbound lanes and was hit by the semi-truck.

The off-duty officer was identified as 49-year-old James Ellis Jr, reports Fox2.

Ellis the driver of the Dodge and Ariah Claybrone, 24, the passenger in the Hyundai both died in the crash. The driver of the Hyundai Sonata was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the semi-truck refused medical attention.

The St. Louis County Police chief among, other officers including St. Louis County, Illinois State were seen outside of Barnes Jewish Hospital on Friday morning just after 4:00 a.m.

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