In Illinois State Trooper was killed early Saturday morning… the second trooper killed in Illinois in three days.

Police say that 36-year-old Trooper Gerald Ellis was on-duty in his squad car traveling home at 3:25 a.m.

 

 

That’s when he was hit head-on near mile post 16.75 on Interstate 94 in Green Oaks, when a wrong-way driver was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes and struck his vehicle.

Ellis was rushed to an area hospital and pronounced dead at 4:04 a.m.

Ellis is actually the third member of the Illinois State Police killed on the state’s roadways this year.

Trooper Christopher Lambert and Trooper Brooke Jones-Story have both been fatally struck when pulled to the side of the road.

There’s been a sharp uptick in the number of drivers hitting squad cars while they’re stopped with emergency lights on.  The death of Jones-Story was the 15thsuch crash in 2019 alone – which is more than all of the Illinois State Police crashes for the years of 2016, 2017 and 2018 combined.

An Illinois state trooper was killed in the line of duty Thursday near Freeport, Illinois, according to a report by ABC 7 Chicago.

Lieutenant Colonel Brendan F. Kelly, Acting Director of the Illinois State Police, reported the death of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story.

Trooper Jones-Story, 34, died as a result of injuries she sustained when she was struck by a semi truck tractor and trailer combination vehicle.

 

Trooper Jones-Story had made a traffic stop on a semi truck and trailer for a minor violation.  While she was conducting an inspection of that vehicle, another semi truck and trailer combination vehicle struck the rear of her patrol vehicle. 

The semi truck vehicle then struck her while she was outside her patrol vehicle and the semi truck that she was inspecting. Both trucks involved became engulfed in flames.

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Governor JB Pritzker had just announced a concerted effort to enforce Scott’s Law, a measure requiring motorists to move over a lane for stopped emergency vehicles. The law was created in 2002 after Chicago firefighter Scott Gillen was struck and killed by a drunken motorist while he was on the side of the highway assisting with a crash.

The driver from this week’s crash was cited by authorities for improper lane usage and violation of Scott’s law, seemingly light infractions for actions that led to a trooper’s death.

“No driver needs to get to their destination so quickly that needs to put a trooper’s life at risk,” Pritzker said during a press conference earlier in the week.

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“Today is a dark day for the Illinois State Police family,” said Brendan Kelly, acting director of the Illinois State Police. “How many times does this have to happen? How many more have to be hurt or killed? When’s enough, enough?” 

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Executive Director Dianne Bernhard commented on the preventable loss of Trooper Jones-Story.

“Our hearts are breaking for the family of Trooper Jones-Story.  She was a young hero that had already dedicated so much of her life to serving others.  C.O.P.S. stands with her husband and her fellow troopers whose lives have been forever changed.  The Illinois C.O.P.S. Chapter has an amazing crisis response team that will not leave their sides.”
 

 

Trooper Jones-Story had served the Illinois State Police for twelve years.  She was assigned to the 16thDistrict in Pecatonica.  She is survived by her husband who is a retired Illinois State Trooper, two step children, and a step grandchild in addition to extended family members.

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“The men and women of this department, especially the troopers and colleagues of trooper Jones-Story, are sad, hurting and they’re angry,” Kelly said. 

Trooper Brooke Jones-Story is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW:  Thursday, March 28, 2019.

Jones-Story actually died on the sixth anniversary of the death of Trooper James Sauter, who was killed by a tractor-trailer in 2013 while parked on the I-294 shoulder near Northbrook.

Colonel Leo Schmitz, director of the State Police Department in Illinois, sadly reported the death of Trooper Christopher Lambert in January.

Trooper Lambert, 34, was on his way home after completing his shift and came upon a three-vehicle crash in the left lane of the freeway. Lambert notified dispatch and commenced to investigate the collision and provide assistance to the drivers and occupants of the vehicles.

While he was standing outside his patrol unit, enduring the snowy winter roads, Lambert was struck by a passing vehicle. Citizens who witnessed the collision immediately rendered aid to the trooper until EMS arrived.

Lambert was transported to North Shore Glenbrook Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later in the day.

“Trooper Lambert was a great trooper and was respected by those within and from outside the ISP, this is a tremendous loss which could have been prevented and should have never happened,” said Schmitz. “Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself. He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois.”

Christopher Lambert served the Illinois State Police for five years. He was assigned to District 15 in Downers Grove and was a member of the Criminal Patrol Team. He is also a U.S. Army veteran. He is survived by his wife and a one-year-old daughter.

Trooper Christopher Lambert is gone, but will never be forgotten.

EOW: Saturday, January 12, 2019.

Christopher Lambert

(LET Graphics)

Author Note: 

Law Enforcement Today is proud to support Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) as our “charity of choice” for supporting the survivors of fallen officers.  We hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Here’s what they are all about:

Each year, between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of duty and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss.  C.O.P.S. provides resources to help them rebuild their shattered lives.  There is no membership fee to join C.O.P.S., for the price paid is already too high.

C.O.P.S. was organized in 1984 with 110 individual members.  Today, C.O.P.S. membership is over 48,000 survivors.  Survivors include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and co-workers of officers who have died in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria.  C.O.P.S. is governed by a national board of law enforcement survivors.  All programs and services are administered by the National Office in Camdenton, Missouri.  C.O.P.S. has over 50 Chapters nationwide that work with survivors at the grass-roots level.

C.O.P.S. programs for survivors include the National Police Survivors’ Conference held each May during National Police Week, scholarships, peer-support at the national, state, and local levels, “C.O.P.S. Kids” counseling reimbursement program, the “C.O.P.S. Kids” Summer Camp, “C.O.P.S. Teens” Outward Bound Adventure for young adults, special retreats for spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, extended family, and co-workers, trial and parole support, and other assistance programs.

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Concerns of Police Survivors. (Photo courtesy Cathy and Javier Bustos)

C.O.P.S. knows that a survivor’s level of distress is directly affected by the agency’s response to the tragedy.  C.O.P.S., therefore, offers training and assistance to law enforcement agencies nationwide on how to respond to the tragic loss of a member of the law enforcement profession.  C.O.P.S. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  C.O.P.S. programs and services are funded by grants and donations.