As a third-generation Chicago cop, Sgt. Alan Haymaker knew the dangers of his work, but a deep faith guided him, colleagues and friends say.
Just last December, after two decades of working in some of the city's most violent areas, Haymaker, 56, transferred to a seemingly safer district.
But in the early-morning hours Monday, after snow had blanketed the city, he was killed in the line of duty after his squad car spun out on an apparently icy stretch of Lake Shore Drive. Haymaker, assigned to work the street on the overnight shift in the Town Hall District, was responding to a call of a burglary in progress when he crashed, officials said.
The car smashed into a tree and pole, trapping him inside, said James Jackson, an assistant police superintendent. He was pronounced dead about two and a half hours later. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
"Icy road conditions were a factor," Jackson told reporters. "Words cannot express the sorrow we feel at his loss."
Haymaker, the first officer to die in the line of duty this year, was southbound on Lake Shore Drive about 5:30 a.m. when he responded to the burglary at a cell-phone store in the 3100 block of North Clark Street. He lost control of the car near Irving Park Road, according to witnesses
Thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Sgt. Al Haymaker