Another preventable tragedy involving those public servants that are protected by Scott’s Law
Nov 3, 2019
2 state troopers injured after car slams into patrol vehicles, driver arrested on suspicion of drunken driving
By KATHERINE ROSENBERG-DOUGLAS
Two Illinois State Police troopers were being treated at Chicago area hospitals for injuries they suffered when a vehicle slammed into two squad cars on the Far South Side early Sunday.
The troopers, each in their own squad car, were pulled to the side of Interstate 57 south at West 119th Street in Morgan Park about 1:40 a.m., according to Sgt. Christopher Watson, a spokesman for state police. Watson did not provide the age or gender of the troopers or provide details about their injuries other than to categorize them as not life-threatening.
The troopers were pulled to the shoulder of Interstate 57 on a traffic stop with emergency lights activated, Watson wrote in an email.
“While on the traffic stop, another vehicle ran off the road and struck both squad cars,” he said.
Watson said the driver of the vehicle that struck the patrol cars was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Additional details were not immediately available.
Before Sunday’s crash, at least three state troopers have been killed in 2019 and including the fatalities, at least 16 troopers have been struck in crashes this year, a historically high number. Previous years have seen far fewer cases: eight in 2018, 12 in 2017 and five in 2016.
Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, was fatally struck Jan. 12 by a motorist while he directed traffic around a crash on a snowy evening on Interstate 294 near Northbrook. In March, Troopers Brooke Jones-Story, also 34, and Gerald Ellis, 36, were killed in separate crashes within two days. Jones-Story was inspecting a truck on U.S. Highway 20 near Rockford when a passing semitrailer fatally hit her. Ellis was killed by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 94 in Lake County.
Two of the fatal crashes resulted from alleged violations of Scott’s Law, which requires motorists to slow down and change lanes when safe to do so, upon approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with lights flashing. The law — named after Chicago fire Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed by a motorist while inspecting a fire engine on the Bishop Ford Freeway — has been in place since 2002.
Violators can face fines up to $10,000 and possible license suspensions. In criminal cases, a driver can receive a more severe sentence for violating Scott’s Law.
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