A Cedar Rapids city employee has died after his vehicle was hit during a police chase. Thirty-five-year-old Stephen Cook of Palo worked in the meter shop of the City of Cedar Rapids Water Division and he was driving a city van on Friday when it was T-boned by a speeding pickup truck.
Police say the truck ran a stop sign as the driver was fleeing from officers who’d tried to stop him for a registration violation. The truck hit the van with such force, the van overturned and Cook was thrown out. He died Saturday at the hospital. The pickup’s driver, 47-year-old Lawson Chadwick of Hiawatha, was also injured. Charges against Chadwick have been upgraded to include vehicular homicide.
The man who was killed, Cook, was a volunteer firefighter in Palo for the past four years. Palo Fire Chief James Seeley told KCRG TV that Cook will be very much missed.
“Steve was an amazing guy,” Chief Seeley says. “He’s the kind of guy that you would want with you if you were going to go into a house fire but he’s also the kind of guy that you would want to go have a drink and have a conversation with afterwards, too.”
On Sunday, members of the Palo Fire Department put up more than 90 American flags along the town’s streets in honor of Cook.
By Jill Kasperie, KCRG, Cedar Rapids