Lake County auxiliary deputy honored after injury
It took Lake County Auxiliary Deputy Thomas Brasuell months to recover from his injuries after he was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver while directing traffic at the scene of a fatal traffic accident 13 months ago in Volo, authorities said.
On Saturday, his fellow deputies honored his sacrifice, as Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg presented him with the Purple Heart Award, reserved for members of the sheriff's office who are severely injured in the in the line of duty.
Idleburg surprised Brasuell at his residence, along with members of the sheriff's office and sheriff's auxiliary deputy unit.
"I am proud to present Auxiliary Deputy Brasuell the Purple Heart Award, and while he was severely injured, we are thankful he was not killed by the reckless intoxicated driver who struck him," Idleburg said. "Our staff report for duty ready to serve the community every day knowing the risks and dangers they potentially face. I am honored to serve alongside such a dedicated group who are deeply devoted to the Lake County community."
An 82-year-old Lake Zurich man died in the accident, which occurred about 6 p.m. Dec. 23, 2019, when his vehicle traveling south on Route 12 crossed into the northbound lanes near Volo Village Road, striking a vehicle driven by a 20-year-old Lake in the Hills man, who was seriously injured, and pushing it into the path of a third vehicle.
Authorities said despite eight traffic cones, flares and a marked squad car with its emergency lights activated, a 65-year-old man from unincorporated Mundelein driving a pickup truck hit the squad, pushing it into Brasuell, who was standing outside.
The driver left the scene, but the truck became disabled due to its damage and sheriff's deputies took the driver into custody, officials said.