Illinois State trooper Christopher Lambert was off duty when he spotted a family stranded alongside I-294 near Northbrook last month after what appeared to be a three-vehicle collision.
He stopped to assist. And while doing so, the newlywed and father of a 1-year-old was struck by another motorist, who allegedly did not move over as he drove through the scene.
Trooper Lambert did not survive. That family he had stopped to help, however, will never forget him. Turns out they were from Pekin, a youth hockey playing family.
Melissa and Brandon Skocaj, on their facebook page, wrote:
"Trooper Lambert stopped to help me and my family after we were involved in an accident on the interstate. He was struck by another car that did not #SLOWDOWN or #MOVEOVER. Sadly, he did not make it. We know that money will never bring back the hero that his family lost, but we hope that maybe it will ease the stress of life after losing a loved one."
So they've decided to spearhead an event that will serve as fundraiser and memorial for trooper Lambert. His family and the Illinois State Police are on board.
On Feb. 24, from 9-noon at Pekin Ice Rink, they will stage a series of exhibition hockey matches with kids from the Pekin Youth Hockey and Peoria Youth Hockey associations.
They will essentially be three-on-three mini-tournaments, with each squad including players from both organizations.
Donations will be accepted for the trooper's memorial fund, and T-shirts will be available for purchase.
The Peoria Rivermen play that day at Carver Arena, at 3 p.m. They'd like to get involved, and work with the Peoria Civic Center to offer Carver Arena for this memorial event. Maybe all parties, from the building to the youth organizations and the SPHL team, can get together and work this one out for a good cause.
So details could yet change. Stay tuned.
That's all for Cleve In The Eve on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.
Dave Eminian covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.