|Agency||New Lenox Fire Protection District|
|Type of Firefighter||Paid-On-Call (POC)|
|Age Range||20 and under|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||1/21/1983|
|Cause of Death||Vehicle collision , Thrown from vehicle|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Responding to/returning from incident|
On January 21, 1983, Firefighter Kenneth Sobbe of the New Lenox Fire Protection District died in the line of duty following a traffic accident that occurred while responding to a mutual aid fire alarm.
Sobbe, a member of the New Lenox Fire Protection District for seven months, was riding on the tailboard of a tanker truck as it traveled east on U.S. Route 30. At the U.S. Route 45 intersection, the truck swerved to avoid a collision with a passenger vehicle. The rear end of the truck struck the vehicle, however, and Sobbe suffered serious injuries when the truck overturned and rolled several times. Sobbe was treated at Olympia Fields Osteopathic Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries later that day. Two other firefighters were also injured in the crash.
Funeral services for Sobbe were held at St. Jude’s Catholic Church on January 26, and he was buried at Manhattan Center Cemetery. Approximately four hundred firefighters from seventy-seven departments attended the funeral, and 125 fire vehicles participated in the funeral procession.