Schuyler County judge killed when truck hits him while riding bicycle


Ramon Escapa

FREDERICK, Ill. — A Schuyler County judge was killed Sunday morning when he was hit by a truck while he was riding his bicycle.

Ramon M. Escapa, 42, of Rushville was riding his bicycle north on Adams Road near Illinois Route 100 at approximately 9:56 a.m. Behind him was a red 2010 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Charlie D. Coffey, 73, of Rushville. Preliminary investigative details from the Illinois State Police indicate Coffey came from behind to strike Escapa on his bicycle. Coffey refused medical attention. He was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The ISP’s Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit is continuing the investigation.

Escapa previously served as Schuyler County’s State’s Attorney until Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court appointed him as a circuit judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit to fill a vacancy formerly held by Judge Scott J. Butler. The appointment took effect Dec. 4, 2020, and was scheduled to conclude Dec. 5, 2022, when the vacancy will be filled by the winner of the November 2022 general election.

Escapa, a Democrat, was elected Schuyler County’s state’s attorney in 2012 when he defeated incumbent Teena Griffin. He was re-elected in 2016 and 2020.

Escapa was a 1998 Rushville High School graduate. He served in the Illinois National Guard and also was a police officer in Beardstown and a Schuyler County deputy. He also was an English teacher in Beardstown. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2009, and before his election as state’s attorney, Escapa was a partner at the law firm of Lucie, Scalf, Escapa and Graham in Macomb.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit covers Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Mason, Menard, Pike, and Schuyler counties. Escapa covered many court cases in Quincy during his time as a judge.

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