ISP launches weekend enforcement patrol honoring fallen trooper - Fox 2 News Headlines

ISP launches weekend enforcement patrol honoring fallen trooper

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James Sauter James Sauter
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

State Police are stepping up traffic enforcement this weekend -- with a special focus on commercial motor vehicles -- in honor of a trooper killed in a crash while on duty a year ago Friday.

"Operation Sauter" will run for 24 hours Friday through Saturday in remembrance of fallen ISP Trooper James Sauter, the department announced Thursday.

The campaign's primary goal is to raise awareness within the motor carrier industry about safety regulations, especially driver fatigue, according to the department.

Sauter was killed March 28, 2013, when Wisconsin truck driver Andrew Bokelman allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel, veered off the road and crashed into the rear of Sauter's squad car on I-294, the Sun-Times previously reported.

Bokelman faces criminal charges in the crash and was sued by Sauter's widow, according to the Sun-Times.

Sauter is the second State Trooper killed in the line of duty in a commercial motor vehicle crash since 2012, the department said.

Trooper Kyle Deatherage was fatally struck by a semi truck Nov. 26, 2012, while conducting a traffic stop on I-55 near downstate Litchfield.

A third trooper, Douglas J. Balder, suffered life-threatening injuries in a Jan. 27 crash on the Reagan Tollway that killed Illinois Tollway worker Vincenzo Petrella. That crash was also caused by an allegedly impaired or fatigued semi driver, authorities said.

During this weekend's enforcement, State Police will saturate interstates across Illinois to "aggressively" patrol roadways and conduct roadside safety checks.

The safety checks will also focus on enforcing speeding and seat belt laws, and curbing drunk or distracted driving, the release said.

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