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State trooper hospitalized after drunken driver plowed into squad car: cops

A drunken driver plowed into an Illinois State Police squad car early Sunday morning, injuring a trooper who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the squad, police said.

The trooper was diverting traffic after a pedestrian was stuck by a car and killed shortly before midnight Saturday on Interstate 55 just south of Route 126 in Plainfield, according to the Illinois State Police.

A 2006 Buick Lucerne driven by a 29-year-old Morrison man was traveling in the center lane of southbound I-55 when it struck the pedestrian, police said.

The pedestrian was pronounced deceased on I-55 shortly after 3:30 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner’s Office.

The state police released no information on potential charges against the driver of the Lucerne.

About a half hour after the pedestrian was struck and killed by the Lucerne, the drunken driver slammed into the state police squad car, police said.

The trooper, who had responded to the earlier incident, was in his squad car, “stationary with lights activated in order to assist with directing traffic onto Illinois Route 126,” the state police said in a statement released Sunday morning.

While the trooper was in his squad car, a 2017 Acura crashed head-on into his vehicle, according to the state police statement.

The trooper suffered minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital following the 1:25 a.m. wreck just south of Route 126 in Plainfield, police said.

The driver of the Acura, 36-year-old Liem Nguyen of Joliet, was arrested on probable cause of disregarding a traffic control device, failure to reduce speed, improperly passing an emergency vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol, records show.

Liem Nguyen

Liem Nguyen (Photo provided/)

Nguyen was also charged with violating Scott’s Law, police said. Scott’s Law mandates slowing down or stopping for stopped emergency vehicles.

If found guilty of violating Scott’s Law, Nguyen faces a fine of up to $10,000 and could lose his driver’s license for two years.

Nguyen was booked into the Will County jail. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

All lanes of southbound I-55 were shut down for about five hours after the pedestrian was stuck and killed.

The dead pedestrian remains unidentified. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday, the coroner’s office said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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