ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Illinois State Police said that a state trooper was hurt and two construction workers were killed in separate Scott’s Law-related crashes. The crashes happened hundreds of miles away from each other, but within 40 minutes of time.
The first crash happened in Effingham at 7:25 a.m. on the ramp leading from U.S. Route 45 to southbound Interstate 57. State Police officials said a trooper was investigating a hit-and-run accident and was gathering information from the driver of one of the vehicles involved, a semi-truck that stayed at the scene. The trooper’s squad car was parked behind the truck with its emergency lights activated.
Officials said that as the trooper was partially inside the truck’s cab, another semi-truck passing by hit the trooper and the cab. The trooper was taken to an area hospital, treated for their injuries and released. The uninjured driver of the truck that hit the trooper, 42-year-old Eric Trevino of Temple Bell, Texas, was ticketed for violating Scott’s Law by improperly passing a stationary emergency vehicle.
The other, deadly crash happened at 8:03 a.m. over the Mississippi River between Burlington, Iowa and Gulf Port, Illinois. Officials said a pair of construction workers were hit by a car while setting up construction barrels on the bridge carrying U.S. Route 34 over the river. The workers’ pickup truck had its construction lights activated at the time of the crash.
Both workers, whom officials said worked for a Burlington construction company, died from their injuries. They’ve been identified Pearson Franklin, 20 of New London, Iowa, and Andrew Whitcomb, 35 of Burnside, Illinois.
The driver of the car that hit them was Emily Johnson, 21 of Gladstone, Illinois. She was ticketed for several offenses that included improper passing of a stationary emergency vehicle, improper use of an electronic communication device and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash. Johnson was slightly injured in the crash.
Officials said that the Effingham crash is the 20th crash this year to involve a State Police squad car being hit in relation to Scott’s Law; eight troopers have been injured in these crashes. Scott’s Law, also known as the Move Over Law, requires any driver approaching a parked emergency or civilian vehicle with its emergency or hazard lights activated to reduce speed and change lanes.
People who violate Scott’s Law face a fine of between $250 and $10,000 for a first-time offense. The violator’s license will be suspended for at least six months and up to two years if the violation results in injury to another person.