Chicago firefighter killed in I-55 crash near Springfield

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An off-duty Chicago Fire Department firefighter/paramedic called a “soft spoken, thoughtful guy” who also knew how to have fun was killed in a motorcycle crash near Springfield Thursday morning, officials said.

476×525Sean Sloe, 37, was assigned to Truck 55 at 6030 N. Avondale Ave. on the Northwest Side, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

Sloe had joined the Fire Department in December of 2005 and had family in Springfield, where his brother is on the Springfield Fire Department, Langford said.

The accident happened at about 10:46 a.m. Thursday on I-55 southbound at the 98 mile post, according to Illinois State Police officials.

Sloe was traveling on the Clearlake entrance ramp to I-55 southbound. As he was driving, two semitrailer-tractor trucks also were traveling southbound near the 98 exit, officials said.

Sloe’s 2012 Aprilia motorcycle made contact with the semi trucks, police said.

Sloe was a dedicated firefighter who first joined the Chicago Fire Department as a paramedic, his colleagues at Engine 119 Firehouse on Avondale in Norwood Park said Thursday night.

“He was a family man, always took the opportunity to go down and visit his family,” said Jeff Thorsberg, captain of a different platoon at the firehouse.

Sloe was a “soft spoken, thoughtful guy,” Thorsberg said.

His love of the job was what brought him to Chicago, said Pat Sweeney, captain of Sloe’s platoon, which is assigned to Truck 55.

“He surprised me because he stepped up and became a driver real quick,” Sweeney said in a phone interview. “He was really involved with the job and really into it. He was my go-to guy.”

Sloe was a prankster — “but in a good way” — who knew how to “keep things lively,” Sweeney said.

But he was serious about firefighting and was an especially skilled paramedic.

“If I needed a paramedic, he’d be one of the first people I’d want working on me,” Sweeney said.

Sloe was never married and had no children, Sweeney said. .

Sloe had been scheduled to report back to work on Friday, Langford said.

By Carlos Sadovi

Tribune reporter Kim Geiger contributed.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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