By Steve Miller

CHICAGO (CBS) — 2,000 Chicago Police and other law enforcement officers assembled east of Soldier Field for the annual St. Jude March to honor fallen officers.

Among the spectators was a survivor – just released from the hospital.

It was in late January when Illinois State Trooper Douglas Balder was in a fiery crash on I-88 near Aurora.

He and tollway worker Vincent Petrella had stopped their vehicles to help a truck driver. That’s when another semi plowed into the vehicles. Petrella was killed.

Trooper Balder was critically injured and suffered third degree burns. Only released from the hospital last Thursday.

“I’m feeling pretty good. It feels good to be home. I’m catching up on sleep. My appetite’s coming back. It’s good to be with family again.”

State trooper Douglas Balder at the St. Jude march. (Credit: Steve Miller)

State trooper Douglas Balder at the St. Jude march. (Credit: Steve Miller)

Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau says Trooper Balder wanted to be at the St. Jude March to thank people for their support.

“I tell you, when I first visited him in January – to see him today, compared to that, that first visit – the miracles of modern medicine. It’s incredible.”

One of the first things Trooper Balder did when he left the hospital was to see his state police vehicle that was hit the day of the accident.

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