ST. ELMO, Ill. – A California truck driver is facing charges after rear-ending an Illinois State Police trooper who had been parked on the shoulder of Interstate 70 to assist another motorist.
According to a spokesperson for ISP District 12, the crash happened shortly after 6 a.m. near milepost 76 on eastbound I-70 in Fayette County.
The trooper was parked on the right shoulder to help a motorist and had activated the emergency lights on their police vehicle.
State police said a semi-truck was also traveling east on I-70 and veered off the roadway onto the right shoulder for unknown reasons. The truck rear-ended the ISP vehicle while the trooper was seated inside.
The trooper was taken to a local hospital, an ISP spokesperson said. The trooper’s injuries were not life-threatening and they were eventually released.
Meanwhile, the truck driver, 58-year-old Pedro Espinoza of Sunland, California, and a passenger were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Espinoza was charged with a violation of Scott’s Law, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and improper lane usage.
Scott’s Law is an Illinois law requiring all motorists to slow down and move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or any vehicle with their hazard lights activated. Anyone who violates Scott’s Law faces a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense. If the violation results in injury to another person, the offending driver will lose their license for a period between six months and two years.
Illinois State Police said 19 squad cars have been struck so far this year and 12 troopers have been injured in Scott’s Law-related crashes.