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Numerous Illinois State Police Squad Cars Struck Over Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Weekend

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Police (ISP) is reporting five crashes involving ISP squad cars occurred over the extended holiday weekend, January 12-15, 2024, three of which were Move Over Law, otherwise known as “Scott’s Law,” related.  

On January 12, 2024 at approximately 8:16 p.m., a trooper from ISP Troop 3 was handling a crash on Interstate 90 westbound at milepost 41.5 in Kane County.  The squad car was stationary on the left shoulder with the emergency lights activated.  The trooper was outside of the vehicle when it was struck in the rear by a Honda CRV.  The trooper and his K9 partner were uninjured.  The driver of the Honda, 36-year-old Luis A. Acosta Garcia of Belvidere, IL was also uninjured.  Garcia was charged with the Move Over Law – Failure to Yield to Stationary Emergency Vehicle and Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. 

On January 14, 2024 at approximately 4:35 a.m., a trooper from ISP Troop 3 was on the left shoulder, westbound on Interstate 290 at Mill Road in DuPage County, with a car in the ditch.  The trooper observed a crash involving a car vs light pole, with the light pole coming to rest in right lane.  The trooper reversed his squad car on the left shoulder to get behind the light pole to warn oncoming traffic of the emergency issue, when his squad car was struck from the rear by a black Jeep Wrangler.  The Trooper was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver and passenger of the Jeep were uninjured.  The crash is under investigation and charges are pending. 

On January 14, 2024 at approximately 5:05 p.m., a trooper from ISP Troop 10 was assisting with a crash on the Interstate 57 southbound exit ramp to Illinois Route 13 in Marion, Williamson County.  The trooper’s fully marked squad car was stationary on the right shoulder of the exit ramp with its emergency lights activated while assisting with a crash in the right ditch.  A Mitsubishi Galant approaching the area, lost control, and struck the rear of the ISP squad car.  The force of the impact pushed the ISP squad car forward into the rear of an IDOT truck also on scene assisting with the crash. The Trooper was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Mitsubishi, 18-year-old Liani I. Anino of Greenfield, IN, was charged with the Move Over Law – Failure to Yield to Stationary Emergency Vehicle, and Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. 

On January 14, 2024 at approximately 10:14 p.m., a trooper from ISP Troop 3 was responding, with emergency lights activated, to assist with an incident when their squad car was struck from behind by another vehicle as they were driving on Interstate 94 southbound at Cermak in Cook County.  The offending vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, attempted to flee, however the trooper was able to stop the vehicle a short distance later.  The trooper was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The driver of the Jeep, 23-year-old Trovon L. Williams of Schiller Park, IL, was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Improper Passing of an Emergency Vehicle Causing Injury, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Injury, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident, Following Too Closely, Operating a Motor Vehicle While Using an Electronic Communication Device, Transportation of Alcohol by Driver, Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicle, and Failure to Carry Driver’s License on Person While Operating a Motor Vehicle.  A gun was found in the vehicle and Williams was also charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. 

On January 15, 2024 at approximately 8:20 a.m., a trooper from ISP Troop 3 was assisting with a crash on Interstate 55 southbound at milepost 242 in Will County.  The squad car was stationary in the right lane with its emergency lights activated while assisting with a crash in the roadway. A Honda Accord approaching the area, failed to move over, and struck the rear of the ISP squad car.  No injuries were reported.  The driver of the Honda, 23-year-old Brendan P. Wengler of Plainfield, IL, was charged with the Move Over Law – Failure to Yield to Stationary Emergency Vehicle and Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. 

In 2023, ISP had 21 Move Over Law-related crashes.  In 2022, ISP had 23 Move Over Law-related crashes where eight troopers sustained injuries.  ISP reminds the public that the Move Over Law requires all drivers to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with their emergency or hazard lights activated.   

A person who violates the Move Over Law, commits a business offense and faces a fine of no less than $250 or more than $10,000 for a first offense.  If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between six months and two years.  Additional information can be found at the following link: https://isp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/340d57cd956c453da2de25af804c268d  

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