Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 24 years, 11 months, 20 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 19th District - Belmont
District of Incident (Present Day): 017 - Albany Park
Cause of Death: Crash - Automobile
Age at Time of Death: 55
Date of Birth: 12 Feb 1937
Date of Appointment: 16 Oct 1967
Date of Incident: 017 - Albany Park
End of Watch: 05 Oct 1992
Date of Interment: 10 Oct 1992
Cemetery: St. Joseph Cemetery - River Grove, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-8
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 18
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 48
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 56-E: 18
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: YES, Branch Unknown
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrol Specialist John Joseph Lyons, Jr., Star #3124, aged 55 years, was a 24 year, 11 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 19th District – Belmont.
On October 5, 1992, at 3:14 a.m., Officer Lyons and his partner, Probationary Patrolman Jerry Knickrehm, age 33, were working the first watch in vehicle #8904. The officers were en route to assist another unit, northbound on Kimball Avenue, Officer Lyons driving the squad car. On the 3400 block of North Kimball Avenue the car skidded and spun out of control rolling over several times before striking a tree at 3440 North Kimball Avenue. After striking the tree the vehicle continued to spin forcing it to impact a light pole. Officer Lyons was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries, he was found lying in the middle of the street by a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper circulation driver Tom O’Leary, age 39, and his helper, Roman Pickens, age 38. O’Leary used his truck to block off Southbound traffic and told a cab driver to block northbound. O’Leary then ran down the street to a payphone to call 911. Pickens and the cab driver noticed the injured Knickrehm still trapped in the squad car after he began to move. Officer Knickrehm had been unconscious because there had been no movement earlier according to O’Leary. Pickens and the cab driver were able to pull open the passenger side door and pull Officer Knickrehm out. Officer Lyons was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #7 where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 3:49 a.m. on October 5, 1992. Officer Knickrehm was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #32 in serious condition. Officer Knickrehm eventually made a full recovery but was not able to recall any details leading up to the crash.
Officer Lyons was waked at Belmont Funeral Home located at 7120 West Belmont Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Monica Roman Catholic Church located at 5136 North Nottingham Avenue. He was laid to rest on October 10, 1992 in St. Joseph Cemetery, 3100 North Thatcher Avenue, River Grove, Illinois.
Patrol Specialist John Joseph Lyons, Jr., born February 12, 1937, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 16, 1967.
Officer Lyons served in the Armed Forces and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Lyons was survived by his wife, Carol Ann (nee Carpino); children: Carla Ann, age 16, Jeffrey Scott, age 30, Joseph Robert, age 27 and Kristi M., age 19; parents: John Joseph, Sr. and Frances (nee Hines); siblings: Clara, Jeffrey and Kristi and two grandchildren.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #T876635.
On May 25, 2006, Officer Lyons’ star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.