Man charged in connection to Pontiac officer's death

By WEEK Producer

November 1, 2013 Updated Nov 1, 2013 at 10:59 PM CDT

PONTIAC, Ill. -- Illinois State Police said Friday that a South Carolina man has been charged with Aggravated DUI and Reckless Homicide after a crash that left a police officer and his K-9 unit dead.

Jason C. Collins, 33, of of West Columbia, South Carolina, was formally charged by the Livingston County States Attorney’s office on Thursday.

The charges allege that Collins was driving a pick up truck on northbound Interstate 55 at Mile 201 when he left the roadway and struck Officer Casey Kohlmeier’s Department SUV in the median.

Kohlmeier and his K-9, Draco, were killed in the crash.

Livingston County prosecutors said Collins admitted to drinking at a bar in Bloomington before the crash. Surveillance video showed he was at the bar for five hours. A blood test performed at the hospital showed Collins' blood alcohol level was above the legal limit of .08.

Collins told police he fell asleep behind the wheel and awoke right before the crash.

His bond was set at $100,000. He is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail.