Saturday morning. On December 23, 2000, Lieutenant Scott P. Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was on duty with Truck 27. At 2:38 AM, Truck 27 was dispatched to assist Ambulance 37 at an accident at 11400 South Bishop Ford Expressway. Upon arrival, Truck 27 positioned itself to protect both the ambulance and the entire accident scene from the flow of traffic. The apparatus was positioned to block the inside and center traffic lanes.
According to the driver of Truck 27, Gillen was retrieving a piece of equipment from the rear of the apparatus when a civilian automobile illegally crossed into the center lane to cut in front of a tractor trailer that was traveling in the outside lane. The automobile struck the tractor trailer on the front passenger side, causing the car to rotate in a counterclockwise manner. The car struck Gillen and pinned him against the rear bumper of the fire truck. Gillen suffered multiple injuries to his lower extremities and was transported by the University of Illinois Hospital helicopter to Christ Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Scott Gillen, 37, the father of five daughters, was a 14-year veteran of the fire department and is part of a firefighting family. He had been promoted to lieutenant just two weeks prior to his death.