NORTHBROOK, Ill. (CBS) — An Illinois State Police trooper was killed overnight in a fiery crash on the Tri-State Tollway in north suburban Northbrook.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the trooper’s squad car was rear-ended by a semi-trailer truck around 11 p.m. Thursday in the southbound lanes of Interstate 294 near Willow Road.
State Police Director Hiram Grau said the trooper’s car was parked on the left shoulder of the tollway at the time of the crash. He said Trooper James Sauter had just been helping a motorist a short time earlier on Interstate 94, about five miles away, before returning to patrol duties on southbound I-294.
The cruiser and the cab of the truck were severely damaged and burst into flames as a result of the crash.
Sauter, 28, of Vernon Hills, was pronounced dead at the scene about three hours later.
The truck driver suffered a burn to his hand, but otherwise was not seriously hurt, according to Grau.
Grau said police did not know if the squad car’s emergency lights were activated at the time of the crash.
“It was a pretty horrific accident, as you can well imagine, so we don’t have all the details yet,” Grau said.