BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — A Boone County Sheriff’s K9 officer was killed Saturday night when the squad car he was in was hit by a drunk driver.
“It’s a big loss, we’re all devastated here,” said Boone County Chief Deputy Perry Gay.
Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Perry Gay says the department is still reeling after K9 Officer Loki was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.
Loki’s handler, Deputy Robert Rosenkranz, was conducting a traffic stop on I-90 when his squad car was hit with Loki inside.
“Loki not only becomes a member of our department, but also a member of his family. They’re not sitting here in the department with a kennel somewhere that he picks up when he comes to work,” said Chief Deputy Gay.
Rosenkranz, who sustained minor injuries during the incident, had been working with Loki since September 2019.
“Either one of them of course would do anything for the other and the K-9 just bonds so close with it’s handler,” Chief Deputy Gay added.
Investigators say Vince Millare caused the crash while under the influence. He faces charges including DUI and Failure to Obey Scott’s Law. Gay says tragedies like this highlight the importance of paying attention while out on the road.
“If you’re too tired to drive, you just can’t drive. You can’t drive when you’re drunk. And if there’s emergency vehicles there, no matter what they are, you’ve got to slow down and move over,” Chief Deputy Gay said.
In the wake of Loki’s death, Gay says dozens of community members have offered financial support to the department’s K9 program.
If you want to help, the Deputy Chief suggests donating directly to the Sheriff’s Office.
“The sheriff’s office, we’re not soliciting donations by any means. But we know there’s a lot of people out there with an awfully big heart and they want to do something, and that’s something they really want to do, they want to donate in some way,” Chief Deputy said.
The department says they plan to hold some sort of funeral service in the near future.