Lawsuit seeks $10 million in fatal trooper crash


DECATUR — The family of a woman killed in car crash with a state police trooper is taking the state to court. Sgt. Jeff Denning was on his way to Mahomet after an officer was shot in early may. On the way he collided with 26 year-old Kelly Wilson. She died from her injuries. Now the family says the trooper is at fault.

The Wilson’s are suing Denning, ISP, and the state for $10 million. They say there’s nothing their daughter could have done differently.

Wilson was heading west on Harrison street toward Oakland Ave. Denning was heading north on Oakland on his way to Mahomet. The speed limit in that stretch of road is 35 mph. Investigators say he was going close to 108 mph.

As Wilson tried to turn left onto Oakland, Denning’s car collided with hers. The claim says he was going nearly 90 mph at the point of impact, and that he was not using the sirens on his vehicle.

The family’s lawyer says the way he was driving was unnecessary for the situation, and Wilson had no way to avoid the crash.

Tim Shay says, “The family is devastated by this loss. I am personally in contact with Mr. Wilson weekly, and each time we meet I feel his loss. It’s devastating to the family and certainly two young children that have lost their mother.” 

Toxicology reports show Wilson’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. She also tested positive for THC after the crash.

The family’s lawyer says this case is more complicated than most fatal crashes. He says there’s still some data to go through before the case proceeds, which he says could take a year or two.

Kelly Wilson’s father also has a few comments about the case. Leo Wilson says, “My daughter didn’t have a chance… She had half a second to respond… He had no business driving that speed no matter what.”


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