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Illinois Prosecutor Dies in Ga. Vehicle Accident

The Associated Press

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HAMILTON, Ill. -- A western Illinois prosecutor was killed in Georgia over the weekend when the tractor-trailer he was driving for another job hit an embankment, authorities confirmed Monday.

James Drozdz, who was Hancock County state's attorney, was killed Saturday night, said Johnny Gray, the coroner for Georgia's Dade County. The results of Sunday's autopsy and toxicology tests were pending.

In addition to his legal duties, Drozdz, of Hamilton, worked for Sterling-based food redistributor Dot Foods and was driving a truck Saturday, Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger told the Quincy Herald-Whig.

Drozdz, 53, attempted to turn onto an entrance ramp, but the vehicle left the road and struck an embankment, according to Gray. Drozdz was killed in the accident. WTVC-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn., reports Drozdz was driving a tractor trailer.

He had three decades of experience in the criminal justice system, the newspaper reported. That included work as an assistant state's attorney, teaching at Western Illinois University and the Illinois Police Academy.

Drozdz was elected Hancock County state's attorney in 2004 and ran unopposed in 2008 and 2012.

Bentzinger called the second job a hobby for Drozdz.

"He was a really good guy. It's tough for me because we were close. We had a great working relationship," Bentzinger told The Associated Press. "We supported each other 100 percent."

Bertinzger said he was notified of the death Saturday.

Drozdz is survived by his wife. Funeral arrangements were pending.
 

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