03/29/2013

Ill. trooper killed in fiery crash

The officer's squad was hit from behind by a semi, causing both vehicles to burst into flames

By PoliceOne Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois State trooper was killed Thursday night in an on-duty traffic accident with a semi-truck.

James Sauter, 28, was in his squad when it was struck by a semi from behind, causing both vehicles to burst into flames. It is unclear whether Sauter’s lights were on or why he was stopped, Police Director Hiram Grau said at a news conference.

“Our accident reconstruction team is working," Grau said. "It was a pretty horrific accident. We don’t have all the details yet."

As a cadet, Sauter was awarded the Lifesaving Medal in October of 2008 for saving a woman who had been involved in a motorcycle accident, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Trooper Sauter was a very talented, wonderful police officer," Grau said. "As you can imagine, his fellow troopers, his fellow officers are devastated.”

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