Homewood attorney: Cops’ testimony, compassion reflects well on village

Homewood Village Attorney Chris Cummings recently praised two police officers for testimony in Cook County Traffic Court this month who he said made a positive impact on the ruling in a fatal vehicle crash case.
Homewood police sergeant Kelly Strayer
  Homewood police
  sergeant Kelly Strayer
  
(Official photos)
 


Sergeant Kelly Strayer and Officer Ephraim Dorsey testified at the Dec. 5 trial of a Glenwood woman who was involved in the crash.

“This in no way would address the loss suffered by the victim and his family, but in the lenient world of Cook County traffic court, the outcome was significant,” Cummings said. “The testimony of two officers was critical in the successful prosecution.” 


At about 10 a.m. on July 7, Steger resident Kyle J. Ladewig, 37, died when his motorcycle collided with a Nissan Altima in the 18200 block of Halsted Street. Ladewig was traveling southbound on Halsted and made contact with the passenger side of the Altima, which was facing northbound on Halsted, turning left into a parking lot of Homewood Deli and Liquors.


Dorsey was the first officer who responded to the scene. Meanwhile, Strayer tracked down the driver, who left the scene of the accident and continued to work.

In an email to Homewood village officials, Cummings said Strayer's and Dorsey's testimony in the case contributed to the driver being found guilty of failure to yield when turning and fined $300 plus court costs.

Homewood police officer Ephriam Dorsey
  Homewood police
  officer Ephraim Dorsey.

“We just laid the facts of what happened,” Strayer said. “We definitely empathized with the family (of Ladewig) but at the same time we understand it’s a complete accident that obviously no one wanted or intended.”


Dorsey's testimony about the defendant's statement was particularly important, Cummings said. He also explained how police obtained video evidence of the accident from a nearby store security camera.


“Despite significant pressure from the defense attorney, Officer Dorsey testified clearly and credibly about the circumstances of the statement, the Miranda warnings given to the defendant and what the defendant said,” Cummings said. “He was well prepared.”

Cummings said both officers offered condolences to Ladewig’s family after the trial. 


“It was a sad situation for all concerned, but officer Dorsey's and sergeant Strayer's professionalism and compassion meant a lot to the family. Their actions reflected well on the police department and the village,” Cummings said.


Strayer said she and Dorsey didn’t know the Ladewig family was in the courtroom while they were testifying but waited outside to speak to them afterward.


“I had never met them,” Strayer said. “I think it maybe added to the closure for them to see that (the driver) was held accountable that day.”

 

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