Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 years, 3 months, 15 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 10, 17th Precinct - Englewood
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle
Age at Time of Death: 33
Date of Birth: 23 Dec 1880
Date of Appointment: 09 Aug 1911
Date of Incident: 16 Nov 1914
End of Watch: 24 Nov 1914
Date of Interment: 27 Nov 1914
Cemetery: Mount Greenwood Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-10
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 25
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5, Line 5
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-E: 30
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Austin Levy Fitch, Star # Unknown, aged 33 years, was a 3 year, 3 month, 15 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 10, 17th Precinct - Englewood.
On November 16, 1914, Officer Fitch was on patrol driving his police motorcycle. At 4358 South Honore Street he attempted to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, Henry Horner, age 35, of 2945 South Michigan Avenue. Unable to avoid the collision, he struck Horner and lost control of the motorcycle. Officer Fitch was thrown from the motorcycle and sustained a skull fracture. Horner sustained a laceration to the scalp and a broken right collarbone. Officer Fitch was transported to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead, eight days later, at 12:00 p.m. on November 24, 1914.
Horner was the grandson of a very successful Jewish Grocer. He would recover from his injuries and have a very successful career in politics. He eventually became Governor of Illinois serving from 1933 until his death in 1940.
Officer Fitch was waked at his residence located at 6035 South Honore Street and his funeral mass was held at Mount Greenwood Cemetery. He was laid to rest on November 27, 1914 in Mount Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Austin Levy Fitch, born December 23, 1880, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 9, 1911.
Officer Fitch was survived by his wife, Flora Elizabeth (nee Gleson); five small children: Austin James, Esther R., Florance L, Francis Austin and Hazel Marie; parents: Austin J. and Frances. J. (nee Pearl) and siblings: Henry Gleason, Thomas, Mrs. Arthur Ackerman and Mrs. John Brookheizer.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
On July 17, 2018, Officer Fitch's star was retired by Superintendent of Police Eddie T. Johnson and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.