FREEPORT, Ill. — An Illinois state trooper died after being hit by a semi truck Thursday afternoon.
According to WGN, the accident happened around 12:30 p.m. on U.S. Route 20 near Freeport. Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, 34, was inspecting a semi at the side of the road when another truck veered off the side of the road and hit her squad car.
Jones-Story was outside her vehicle at the time. The car burst into flames on impact; thick black smoke could be seen wafting across the interstate after the crash.
#BREAKING: Traffic is backed up in the westbound lanes of US 20 near the Rt. 75 Freeport exit for a serious crash. Illinois State Police are investigating and we have crews on the way. (Photo: Beth Surrarrer Hitz) pic.twitter.com/Uydo3DW0bT
— Eyewitness News WTVO/WQRF (@MyStateline) March 28, 2019
Jones-Story was a 12-year veteran of Illinois State Police District 16. She’s the second Illinois trooper killed while stopped on the side of the road this year. In all, 15 troopers have been hit by vehicles in 2019, WGN reported.
The trooper is survived by her husband, two stepchildren, a step-grandchild and her parents.
Her death comes after public awareness efforts by law enforcement to get drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. This year has already surpassed 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the number of state troopers hit during traffic stops, WGN reported.
The calls intensified after Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, died when a vehicle hit him. He had stopped to help with a multi-car crash on I-294 while on his way home.
Illinois State Police mourn the loss of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story #5966.
She was struck by a truck tractor semi trailer while outside of her squad car on a traffic stop on US Route 20 near Freeport, IL.
Rest peacefully. We will never forget you.
End of Watch 3-28-19 pic.twitter.com/8WUNBmRW6S
— IllinoisStatePolice (@ILStatePolice) March 28, 2019