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2 Illinois State Troopers, 2 Others Injured In Crash On Interstate 57 In West Pullman

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A driver has been arrested for DUI, after crashing into two Illinois State Police vehicles that were making a traffic stop on Interstate 57 early Sunday.

Illinois State Police said the troopers were conducting a routine traffic stop on the right shoulder of southbound Interstate 57 near 119th Street around 1:40 a.m., and had activated the emergency lights on their vehicles, when a red 2015 Chrysler rear-ended a police sport-utility vehicle, pushing it into an ISP squad car -- and pushing the squad car into the 2005 Chevrolet SUV that state police had initially pulled over.

All three vehicles were seriously damaged.

The injured troopers – a 39-year-old man and a 47-year-old man – were taken to Roseland Community Hospital for treatment, according to the Chicago Fire Department. The 23-year-old woman driving the car that was being pulled over and her 23-year-old woman passenger were also injured in the crash were taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in Evergreen Park for treatment.

Two other passengers -- a 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old man, were not injured, state police said.

One of the troopers was a five-year veteran of the state police, the other a 19-year veteran.

The driver who caused the crash -- Clarence P. Junius, 38, of Markham -- was arrested for driving under the influence.

Clarence P. Junius
Clarence P. Junius is accused of driving under the influence and causing a chain-reaction crash that left two state troopers and two others injured on I-57, on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (Credit: Illinois State Police)

This has been one of the most dangerous and deadliest years for state troopers on Illinois highways.

Three troopers have died this year in crashes; two of them died when they were struck by drivers who failed to slow down and move over one lane for an emergency vehicle stopped at the side of the road with emergency lights flashing.

Before Sunday's crash, a total of 16 state troopers had been hit by vehicles that had violated the state's "move over" law, also known as "Scott's Law."

Scott's Law requires drivers to slow down, and move over at least one lane if possible for emergency vehicles that have their flashing lights activated – including police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, and construction vehicles.

Junius was charged with violating Scott's Law. In addition to the DUI charge, he was also cited for driving on a revoked license, not having insurance, failure to reduce speed.

Drivers who violate Scott's Law face fines of up to $10,000, a two-year suspension of their driver's license, and possible jail time.


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