Man on way to hospital for heart attack pulled over, ticketed

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LEMONT, Ill. --   A suburban man has filed a complaint with Illinois state police after his son was ticketed while driving him to the hospital during a heart attack.

Two weeks ago, Bill O’Neil woke up not feeling well in his Lemont home near 355.  He knew he needed to get to the hospital.

“I went to sleep and I laid down for 10 minutes and I started getting some really bad chest pains,” he said. “And I knew immediately this was trouble.”

Bill asked his son to drive him to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where he had been treated for a prior heart attack in 2011.

About ten minutes into their drive on 355 near Bolingbrook, an Illinois State Trooper pulled them over going 82 in a 55.

“When I saw the lights go on I really wasn't concerned about it,” Bill said. “I thought maybe this guy could help us out.”

Instead, Bill says the trooper questioned him.

“He said, ‘You don't look like you're having a heart attack.’  I think my jaw really dropped at that point.”

The trooper proceeded to write O'Neil's son a $1500 dollar ticket.   Then he called an ambulance to pick up Bill.

Once at the hospital, he found out he was in fact having a heart attack and underwent surgery and received two stents.

Bill filed a complaint with the state police.

State police issued a statement to WGN News saying,:

Mr. O'Neil's recollection of what was said appears to be accurate. The officer was uncertain if this was a true medical emergency during the initial encounter based on his observations of Mr. O'Neil. Upon further conversation between Mr. O'Neil and the officer, an ambulance was called
to the scene according to protocol within minutes of the time of the stop.
Bill’s son has to appear in traffic court on November 5th.  He is hoping the judge will reduce the ticket.

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