Illinois State Police trooper hit by semi, 14th to be struck by a motorist this year

Illinois SP trooper hit by semi

An Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured when he was hit by a semi downstate late Wednesday, bringing to 14 the number of troopers hit by vehicles this year and eclipsing the total for all of last year. The accident took place in Collinsville, about 16 miles from St. Louis, and comes just three days after another trooper was hit on Sunday. Previous years have seen far fewer cases: eight in 2018, 12 in 2017 and five in 2016. The state police were called to Interstate 55 about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday for a crash that occurred when a vehicle left the road and hit a light pole, causing the pole to fall across lanes of the interstate, according to a release from state police. Seven vehicles hit the downed light pole before troopers arrived. The first two troopers at the scene stopped close to the pole, and a trooper in a third squad car parked farther away to give motorists more notice before coming up on the accident scene, state police said. The trooper had gotten out of his car when he and the car were hit by the truck. The trooper was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Scott’s Law, enacted 20 years ago, requires motorists to slow down and try to move over when they see a parked squad car, fire engine or ambulance with flashing lights, or any vehicle with flashing hazard lights engaged. It was named for a Chicago firefighter who was killed by a drunken driver at a crash site. 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. The first quarter of 2019 has seen a spike in incidents, including the death of Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, who was hit by a passing motorist in January. State police have stepped up enforcement of Scott’s Law and have sought to raise awareness through social media. Between Jan. 1 and March 6, troopers issued 366 tickets for violations, compared with 138 for the same period last year. For all of 2018, troopers issued 881 citations, according to data provided by the agency.