U.S.

Illinois State Trooper Killed Days After Drivers Urged to Respect Move Over Law: 'When Are People Going to Start Giving a Damn?'

An Illinois state trooper has been killed during a traffic stop just days after the state urged drivers to respect a law requiring drivers to slow down when approaching pulled-over emergency vehicles following a spate of collisions and crashes.

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, 34, was killed while inspecting a vehicle on Route 20 westbound, just west of Illinois Route 75 in Stephenson County on March 28. She was outside her patrol vehicle when a truck tractor semi-trailer combination drove into her and the vehicle she had pulled over.

Both vehicles caught fire in the wake of the crash. No other people were injured. Jones-Story was a 12-year veteran of the Illinois State Police District 16 in Pecatonica, the department said in a statement.  

“Today is a dark day for the Illinois State Police family,” ISP Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly said in a statement. “This is the six-year anniversary of the death of another Trooper, and now another brave soul, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, has made the ultimate sacrifice for people of this state.”

Jones-Story was the second state trooper to have been killed by the side of the road this year following the death of Trooper Christopher Lambert on 12 January. Lambert was dealing with the aftermath of a crash on the I-294 near Willow Road when another vehicle failed to stop and struck Lambert while he was outside of his patrol car. After being given CPR at the scene by an off-duty nurse, he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

Just three days before Jones-Story was killed, the Illinois State Police and Governor JB Pritzker issued a joint statement urging drivers to respect the Move Over Law, which requires motorists to slow down when approaching emergency vehicles and change lanes if they can do so safely.

The law, also known as Scott’s law, was introduced in 2002 after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunk driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene on December 23, 2000.

When the plea to respect Scott’s law was made on March 25, there had already been 14 incidents of troopers being struck by vehicles at the side of the road, including the fatal accident involving Lambert.

“This alarming number already exceeds last year’s total of eight and averages more than one Trooper a week. It is simply unacceptable” Kelly said in a statement.

“Our state troopers are putting their lives on the line every single day,” added Governor Pritzker. “They are our heroes and first responders, keeping people safe. No driver needs to get to their destination so quickly that they need to put a trooper's life at risk. No one's time or convenience is worth more than the lives of our state's heroes."

During a press conference in the wake of Jones-Story’s death, Kelly described his frustration that yet another officer has died because people have violated Scott’s Law.

"These troopers are just doing their job trying to protect everyone. How many times does this have to happen? How many have to be hurt or killed? One is enough," he said at a press conference broadcast by WIFR. "When are people going to start giving a damn and just do the right thing?"

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story Brooke Jones-Story is the second state trooper to have been killed in a crash this year following the death of Trooper Christopher Lambert on 12 January. Illinois State Police

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