State Police Again Rocked by Tragedy After 3rd Trooper Death This Year

on Mar30
by | Comments Off on State Police Again Rocked by Tragedy After 3rd Trooper Death This Year |

2019-03-30 17:10:28

For the third time this year, Illinois State Police are in mourning after a trooper was killed in the line of duty early Saturday morning.

Officials say that Trooper Gerald Ellis was driving his vehicle on Interstate 94 when he was struck head-on by a driver travelling in the wrong direction on the highway near Mile Marker 16 in Lake County.

Trooper Ellis was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle also perished in the crash, according to police.

“This loss is bitter salt in an open wound,” ISP Acting Director Brendan Kelly said.

Ellis’ death is the second the department has had to deal with in the last three days. Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was killed Thursday when she was struck by a semi-trailer near Rockford. Earlier this year, Trooper Christopher Lambert was struck and killed while investigating a traffic crash near Glenview.

The three trooper deaths are the most in a single year in the last 66 years, according to the department. A total of 17 state troopers have already been struck by vehicles this year alone, and in 15 of those cases, drivers were violating Scott’s Law, which requires drivers to move over for police vehicles.

“How many more of these tragedies have to occur at the hands of drivers making dangerous choices behind the wheel?” Kelly said.

Police hope that the tragedies of the last few days will be a wake-up call to motorists.

“There’s only two ways this stops: people drive safely or troopers stop patrolling,” Kelly said. “And there is nothing, no one on Earth or in heaven or hell that will ever keep these troopers from doing the job they swore to do.”

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, and whether alcohol was involved in the collision.

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