Joliet man charged with severely injuring state trooper in crash surrenders, taken to jail

Angel Casillas

A Joliet man charged with crashing into a stopped Illinois State Police squad car and severely injuring a trooper surrendered in court and was jailed Tuesday, records show.

Angel Casillas, 21, faces charges of aggravated reckless driving and causing injury or death while passing an emergency vehicle.

Will County Judge Dave Carlson signed a warrant for Casillas’ arrest Friday. The warrant carried a $250,000 bond.

A towing company employee looks through the wreckage of an Illinois State Police vehicle involved in a crash on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, at I55 North and US Rt. 30 in Joliet, Ill. A cash on I55 northbound resulted in an Illinois State Police being airlifted to a nearby hospital and the expressway shut down for hours.

Casillas appeared in court Tuesday with his attorney, Cosmo Tedone, after an emergency motion was filed Monday for Casillas’ surrender and to reduce his bond, according to court records.

Casillas’ bond was dropped to $100,000 and he was taken from court to the Will County jail, records show.

Trooper Brian Frank responded to a February 2015 crash on Interstate 55 near Route and parked behind wrecked vehicles with his squad car’s emergency lights activated in order to assist with directing traffic to the right,” state police said at the time.

A Cadillac SUV driven by Casillas rammed into the back of the Frank’s squad, police said.

Frank was airlifted to an area hospital, according to police, and Casillas was also hospitalized and treated for minor injuries.

Frank suffered serious brain injuries when his squad vehicle was rear-ended, and there was an “immense amount of swelling to the head, which was responded to immediately with surgery upon arrival at hospital,” according to a GoFundMe established for him.

Casillas initially was cited for driving too fast for conditions or failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, following too closely and failure to yield to emergency vehicles, the latter of which is known as Scott’s Law.

Scott’s Law requires motorists approaching stationary authorized emergency vehicles proceed “with due caution” and either change lanes or reduce speed.

The traffic citations were dropped by prosecutors March 5, 2021, in light of an ongoing investigation of the crash.

Frank was awarded Officer of the Year by the Illinois State Police criminal patrol team in 2021. Frank’s wife, Lauren Frank, accepted the award on his behalf.