Two Illinois State Police Troopers struck and killed in car accidents in 3-day span
FREEPORT, Ill. (April 2, 2019) – Two on-duty Illinois State Police troopers were killed in car accidents last week.
On Thursday, 34-year-old Trooper Brooke Jones-Story pulled a truck over around 12:20 p.m. and was conducting an inspection on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 20 in Freeport when another semi-truck plowed into her, her squad car and the stopped truck. Jones-Story was killed in the crash.
The driver of the truck that caused the fatal crash was cited with a violation of Scott’s Law, which requires motorists to slow down and change lanes if possible when approaching stopped emergency vehicles. He also was charged with improper lane usage.
Jones Story’s family released a statement following the accident describing Jones-Story as a devoted public servant who worked with rescue animals on her farm, loved the Cubs, Disney movies and CrossFit workouts.
“Growing up in rural Illinois, Brooke loved her family, and her high school and college volleyball teams. Brooke always had a passion for service and committed herself to becoming a trooper. It was through that role that she gained her family in blue, met her husband and connected her personal and professional loves,” the statement said, in part.
She is survived by her husband, parents, brother, sister, step-children, step-grandchild and grandmother.
Jones-Story is among three Illinois state troopers killed in traffic accidents this year. Trooper Christopher Lambert was fatally struck while investigating a three-car crash on I-294 in Northbrook in January, and two days after Jones-Story was killed, Trooper Gerald Ellis was killed by a wrong-way driver near Libertyville. It has been 66 years since three troopers have been killed in a single year, ABC 7 reports.
Trooper Ellis, 36, was on-duty in his squad car traveling home on westbound I-94 when he was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver. He was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The wrong-way driver, later identified as 44-year-old Dan Davies from Calumet City, was also killed in the crash.
Ellis was an 11-year veteran of the Illinois State Police District 15 in Downers Grove. He served in the military and is survived by a wife and two children.
A Facebook post says Ellis selflessly put himself in the path of the wrong way driver, saving lives of people in another car. Illinois State Police have said they are aware of the post and an investigation is ongoing, adding no additional details are being released at this time.
Records show Davies has not had a valid driver’s license since 1996. He has reportedly been arrested for drug possession, battery, resisting arrest, and two DUIs. In 2010, he was convicted of DUI in Cook County. His most recent DUI arrest was in November of 2018, and he appeared in court just five weeks ago.
Illinois State Police officials say there will be increased patrols and enforcement zones across Illinois this month as part of a crackdown on drivers caught using handheld devices for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.