Two Illinois Troopers Killed Within Days of Each Other


Rachel Nelson , Sports Editor

Last week, two Illinois state troopers were killed by being hit on the road. Illinois State Police Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was hit and killed as she was conducting a traffic stop. She had pulled over a truck and was inspecting it on the side of the road when another semitractor-trailer hit her, her squad car, and the truck she’d stopped.

Her family said she was “a woman who embraced life and loved spending time with her beloved family and friends. A dedicated, courageous, loving and passionate officer and the absolute best person you could meet.”

Jones-Story was the 15 officer to get hit on the road this year.

Three days later, Trooper Gerald Ellis was on duty headed home to his wife and two kids when a wrong-way driver hit his squad car head-on, making him the 16th officer hit this year. Ellis was taken to a hospital where he died just after four in the morning.

Acting director of the Illinois State Police, Brendan Kelly, told reporters and the public “This loss is bitter salt in an open wound.”

Just days before, Illinois State Police and Governor JB Pritzker had urged the public to adhere to the state’s “Move Over” law. This law requires drivers to change lanes if possible and reduce speed if they see emergency vehicles or highway maintenance on the road.

In 2018, there were eight troopers hit in similar incidents.

“How many more of these tragedies have to occur at the hands of drivers making dangerous choices behind the wheel? When will drivers open their eyes to the dangers they face and take them seriously?” Kelly asked.