WARNING: This video contains images that may be disturbing to some viewers.
MAYWOOD, IL (KTVI) - Disturbing video of a drunk driving crash that seriously injured an Illinois State Trooper has been released. Leslie Thurow, 61, is sentenced to 13 years in prison for causing the crash that sent ISP Trooper Michael Cokins and four others to the hospital.
Trooper Cokins was conducting a traffic stop in September 2014 on the right shoulder of I-294 when he was struck by a vehicle. The collision hurled Cokins over the hood of the vehicle he pulled over.
Police say that Thurow then continued driving on I-294 and struck a SUV carrying a family of four. Her vehicle crashed into a concrete median. The SUV carrying the family rolled as a result of the crash.
An investigation revealed that Thurow’s blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit. Her driver’s license was revoked for previous driving under the influence convictions. She has spent the last two years in jail waiting on trial dates and sentencing. On December 1, Thurow was formally sentenced to 13 years for the crime.
As a result of the crash, Trooper Cokins suffered 15 broken bones, underwent 8 surgeries, and 17 months of therapy. On May 1, 2016, Trooper Cokins was medically cleared to return to full duty. He returned to his original assignment with the ISP, patrolling the north Tri-State.
Illinois State Police say that this is what happened when people choose to drink and drive.
“Drinking and driving is a dangerous choice that can lead to deadly consequences,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz in a statement. “Driving under the influence is never a good option and can be very costly both financially and criminally. Always designate a driver before consuming alcohol.”
The "Move Over Law" or “Scott’s Law,” requires drivers to yield to stationary emergency vehicles. Those caught breaking the law can be fined $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years.