By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) — The wrong-way driver in a crash that killed an Illinois State Trooper in Green Oaks has not had a driver’s license in more than 20 years, records show.

The man, identified as 44-year-old Dan Davies from Calumet City, has not had a license since 1996.

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Davies was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes on I-94, just east of the IL-176 exit in Green Oaks early Saturday morning.

He hit 36-year-old Trooper Gerald Ellis head on.

Credit: ISP

Ellis died from his injuries at a hospital.

The front of the trooper’s SUV was obliterated by the impact. Davies’s vehicle was upside down.

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The Lake County Coroner said an autopsy revealed Davies died from multiple injuries due to a motor vehicle crash. Toxicology is pending.

Records show Davies has had arrests for drug possession, battery, resisting arrest, and two DUIs.

He was convicted of DUI in 2010 in Cook County.

His most recent DUI arrest was in November of 2018, and he appeared in court just five weeks ago.

Records show he’s accused of driving with open alcohol in his vehicle, had no insurance, and hasn’t had a valid license since 1996.

Trooper Ellis was a married father of two and an 11-year veteran of the Illinois State Police.

A Facebook post says Ellis selflessly put himself in the path of the wrong way driver, saving lives of people in another car. Illinois State Police say they’re aware of the post and the investigation is ongoing, adding no additional details are being released at this time.

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Trooper Ellis’ family released a statement saying he was a person who would lend a helping hand, without being asked. His daughters describe him as the best dad in the world and a hero, who showed them tender, unconditional love.

“Jerry will be remembered as the foundation of our family and the community. Through his compassion, devotion, and nurturing abilities, he supported anyone that crossed his path. Each day, he will be remembered as a husband and father who was noble and altruistic. He was the person that would lend a helping hand without having to be asked. Acceptance, respect, and dignity are characteristics he displayed with the greatest of ease. His daughters described him as the best dad in the world, a hero, who adored them and showed them the tender unconditional love that only a father could. He was a loyal and dedicated husband, providing love and laughter, teamwork and understanding, happiness and excitement; there was never a lack of effort when it came to his family. We would like to thank and extend our condolences to every individual and organization who has helped and supported us at this time, including the Illinois State Police, all extended law enforcement agencies, first responders, hospital staff,  family, friends, neighbors, and all the individuals we have not had the chance to meet in person.”

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
~ Steve Maraboli

Suzanne Le Mignot