State trooper seriously injured in I-55 crash: cops

Trooper was sitting in parked squad car when Joliet man rear-ended his vehicle, police said

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.

An Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured Monday when a Joliet man rear-ended his squad car while it was parked at the scene of a wreck on Interstate 55, police said.

The trooper’s squad was struck shortly before noon on I-55 near Route 30, according to a statement released by the state police Monday evening.

The unidentified trooper had “responded to a traffic crash that occurred near the above location” and “pulled behind the wrecked vehicles in the left lane and had the (squad car’s) emergency lights activated in order to assist with directing traffic to the right.”

The trooper was sitting inside the parked squad car when a 2010 Cadillac SUV rammed the back of the vehicle, police said.

The trooper was “airlifted to a local area hospital with serious injuries,” according to the state police.

The driver of the Cadillac, Angel Casillas, 20, was “also transported to an area hospital with minor injuries,” police said.

The vehicles from the initial wreck were not involved in the subsequent crash, according to the state police.

“This crash marks the sixth ISP Scott’s Law related crash year-to-date in 2021 and the second in two days,” police said in the statement released Monday.

In September, a 19-year-old from Berwyn was charged with crashing into the back of a state police squad car at almost the exact location as Monday’s wreck.

Alexis Magallanes was driving a 2003 Toyota pickup when he rammed the back of a squad car on I-55 near Route 30, police said.

That squad car was stopped with its emergency lights activated as it blocked traffic for a stalled commercial motor vehicle, police said.

A third vehicle, a 2016 Ford Econoline van, then crashed into both the pickup truck the squad car, police said.

“This impact then caused the squad car to be pushed into the left concrete median barrier before it came to rest in the left lane,” police said at the time.

The van came to rest in the right ditch, police said. The driver’s side of the squad car was then struck by yet another vehicle, a 2011 Subaru SUV, as it attempted to avoid the crash, police said.

The trooper, Magallanes and the driver of the van all suffered injuries, according to police, with the driver of the Subaru apparently emerging unscathed.

Magallanes is scheduled to stand trial next month.

On Monday, the northbound lanes of I-55 remained closed for about four hours while police investigated the crash. Motorists were diverted off the interstate onto Route 30, according to the state police.

Casillas had not been charged with a crime in connection with the crash Monday evening.