CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois State Police are reminding drivers to “MOVE OVER” when approaching an emergency vehicle or any vehicle with hazard lights activated. It comes after two serious crashes one on Wednesday, and the other Thursday.
An Illinois State Trooper with a marked vehicle and lights activated was blocking traffic on northbound I-55 near Route 30 on Wednesday around 1:24 p.m., because a vehicle stalled in a lane. Police said a 2003 white Toyota pickup truck struck the trooper's squad car, causing a multiple vehicle crash. The pickup truck vehicle failed to yield to the authorized emergency vehicle and struck the rear of the Trooper’s squad car. The third vehicle, a 2016 white Ford Econoline Van, traveling in the same location then struck both the pickup truck and the squad car. This impact then caused the squad car to be pushed into the left concrete median barrier before it came to rest in the left lane. The Ford van came to rest in the right ditch. The driver’s side of the squad car was then struck by a forth vehicle, a 2011 Blue Subaru SUV, as it attempted to avoid the crash.
The trooper sustained serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries and was airlifted by helicopter to a local area hospital. The drivers of the Toyota pickup truck and the Ford van were also transported to local area hospitals.
The driver of the Toyota pickup truck, Alexis Magallanes, 19, of Berwyn has been cited for violating the Move Over Law – called Scott’s Law – and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Twelve hours later, on Thursday at 12:37 a.m., a car slammed into a crash scene that was under investigation on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway near Austin. While investigating the initial crash, a 2009 maroon Acura drove through the crash scene at a high rate of speed and failed to yield right of way to the stationary emergency vehicles. The passenger side of the maroon Acura struck the driver’s side of an ISP squad car and an IDOT truck. The maroon Acura also struck multiple vehicles and three pedestrians, one of which was an IDOT maintenance truck operator. The impact from the crash with the IDOT vehicle caused the vehicle to strike the IDOT operator who was standing on the roadway at the time of the crash, according to Illinois State Police.
Authorities said the driver of the car was Terrance Barber, 33, of Chicago, who tried to run from the scene, but was caught and charged with - among other things - aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.
The IDOT truck operator, a 46-year-old man, suffered serious injuries, but is expected to recover.
"Our officers protect and assist the people of Illinois every day, just like these Troopers and IDOT worker were doing when these crashes occurred,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly, in a statement. “We will continue to pursue these offenders, but it hasn’t even been a week since I last stood by a trooper’s hospital bedside. And now we have two Move Over (Scott’s Law) crashes that occurred within less than a 12-hour period. I am relieved these troopers and IDOT worker were not killed, but I am sick and tired of our troopers getting hurt for doing their jobs because some people just don’t care. Everyone should pause and think for a moment about these selfless men and women, first responders and highway maintainers because they think about you and your safety every day."
The ISP would like to remind the public of the requirements of the “Move Over” (Scott’s) Law. When approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with their hazard lights activated, drivers are required to slow down, and move over and change lanes if possible. In all cases drivers should proceed with due caution. The minimum fine for a violation is $250. A second or subsequent violation of this offense ranges from $750 to $10,000.