Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 16 years, 3 months, 27 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 20th District - Lincoln
District of Incident (Present Day): 024 - Rogers Park
Cause of Death: Crash - Automobile
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 23 Dec 1961
Date of Appointment: 17 Nov 1986
Date of Incident: 024 - Rogers Park
End of Watch: 16 Mar 2003
Date of Interment: 20 Mar 2003
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Graves 3 and 4, Lot 5, Block 34, Section I
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-9
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4, Line 36
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 11-W: 24
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Sergeant Philip John O’Reilly, Sr., Star #2321, aged 41 years, was a 16 year, 3 month, 27 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 20th District – Lincoln.
On March 16, 2003, at 4:49 a.m., Sergeant O’Reilly was on duty working the first watch 10-99 on beat 2010. Weather conditions were 42 degrees, foggy at 100% humidity and viability was less than one city block. Sergeant O’Reilly was driving Westbound on Granville Avenue crossing Western Avenue when his squad car was struck by a northbound 1995 International 4700 flat-bed tow truck. The impact of the collision was at the driver’s side rear door of his squad car. The impact caused the squad car to veer off, spin and crash into a snow bank on the Northwest corner of Granville and Western Avenues. Upon impact Sergeant O’Reilly was ejected from his vehicle. His squad car then struck him and he was dragged underneath as the car continued to spin and came to rest on top of the sergeant pinning him against the snow bank. Sergeant O’Reilly was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #13 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Kirby at 8:43 a.m. on March 16, 2003. His death was determined to be caused from extensive internal injuries received during the crash.
The tow truck driver, John Gattuso, age 40, of 1955 North Humboldt Boulevard, was cited for driving too fast for weather conditions.
Sergeant O’Reilly was waked at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home located at 6150 North Cicero Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Ignatius Church. He was laid to rest on March 20, 2003 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Graves 3 and 4, Lot 5, Block 34, Section I.
Sergeant Philip John O’Reilly, Sr., born December 23, 1961, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 17, 1986, attended the Jackson Street Police Academy and was issued Star #7168. On December 4, 1998, he was promoted to the rank of Gang Specialist and was issued Star #60037. On June 16, 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and issued Star #2321.
Sergeant O’Reilly was a member of the Police Benevolent & Protective Association. He was survived by his wife, Bethany Marie (nee Munson), age 47; children: Elizabeth Claire, age 5, Karl Bernard, age 28, Michael, Philip John, Jr., Therese and Thomas Ryan, age 21; siblings: Denis Hugh, Edward Michael (Linda), Ellen Patricia (Angel) Garcia, James Vincent Leo (Suzanne), Julie Elizabeth (Jose) Castillo, Paul Cornelius (Laurie) and Reverend Gerald Kevin. One of his brothers also served as a sergeant with Chicago Police Department.
Incident Recorded Under Chicago Police Department RD #HJ240977.
On May 24, 2005, Sergeant O’Reilly’s 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.
Sometime between January 2007 and 2010, the 2700 block of West North Shore Avenue was dedicated as “Honorary Sergeant Philip O’Reilly Avenue.” Two brown honorary street signs were erected. Both signs were located at the intersection of North Shore Avenue and Fairfield Avenue, one on the Northeast corner and the other on the Southwest corner in heart of the West Ridge community where Sergeant O’Reilly lived.