Illinois firefighter killed in Wisconsin freeway crash

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Naperville Fire Department in Illinois is mourning the loss of one of their members following a crash in southeast Wisconsin. 

The crash happened around 3:22 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Authorities say 27-year-old Alexander Gard was traveling westbound on I-794 at a high rate of speed when he took the exit ramp to Jackson and Van Buren Streets. Officials say Gard was not able to maneuver the curve and he left the roadway, hitting a pillar to the overpass. 

The mid-size SUV Gard was driving became fully engulfed in flames and he was pinned inside the vehicle. 

According to a report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, the Milwaukee Fire Department had to use the jaws of life to remove Gard. He did not survive.

"It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Naperville Fire Department reports the off duty passing of one of our own," the Naperville Fire Department said. "Firefighter Paramedic Alexander Gard was a two-year member of the Naperville Fire Department, served the residents of Naperville out of our Fire Station 2, and was respected by all."

Gard was a member of the department’s union, Local 4302.

Thursday, Nov. 4, The Milwaukee Fire Department Honor Guard escorted Gard's body back to Naperville.

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