FARMER CITY — A crash that killed an Illinois state trooper in June was caused when he failed to reduce his speed to avoid the accident, according to a crash report obtained by The Pantagraph on Thursday.
Ryan Albin, 37, died at 8:45 p.m. June 28 at Carle Hospital in Urbana from injuries suffered in the two-vehicle crash about five hours earlier on Interstate 74 near Farmer City.
The crash report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, states Albin was westbound in a 2016 Ford state police vehicle at 3:08 p.m. near milemarker 156 in DeWitt County. The report says Albin was driving in the left lane. A second vehicle, identified as a 2014 box van, was also in the left lane in front of Albin, according to the report.
The truck, driven by a 47-year-old Normal man, "was slowed in traffic in the left lane at around the same time as the squad car" that "failed to reduce speed and rear-ended" the truck, the report states.
The report does not state how fast Albin's squad car was going.
State police investigators also talked with five other witnesses. One was to the immediate right of where the crash occurred. A second vehicle was trailing the state trooper’s vehicle, according to the report. Their statements are not included in the crash report.
The crash occurred in a construction zone with a posted speed limit of 55 mph. There were no construction workers present at the time, the report states.
Albin, who was on duty at the time, was transported to Carle Hospital by the Farmer City Ambulance.
ISP investigators declined to comment further on the report.
Albin’s K-9 partner, Biko, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, was in the rear of the squad car at the time of the crash. He was examined at the University of Illinois Emergency Veterinary Hospital, then spent the week with Albin’s family. The dog returned to active duty in District 6, which includes McLean, Livingston and DeWitt counties. A new handler is expected to train with Biko this fall.
Albin grew up near Bellflower and attended Blue Ridge High School in Farmer City and Eureka College. About 600 people attended his funeral on July 6, including Gov. Bruce Rauner and about 400 police officers from Illinois and several other states.