An Illinois State Police trooper from Vernon Hills was the victim of a fatal car crash early Friday morning.
James Sauter was on duty in his squad car when his vehicle was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer at I-294 southbound at Willow Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:12 a.m., the Daily Herald reported.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the tragic death of Trooper James Sauter, and on behalf of the men and women of the Illinois State Police, I offer sincere condolences to Trooper Sauter’s family,” Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said in a statement.
“Trooper Sauter left a legacy of courage, honor and duty and we will never forget Star #6095. Our hearts are heavy with grief, but they are also strengthened by Trooper Sauter’s brave calling and dedicated service to ISP,” Grau added.
Sauter, 28, had been a member of the Illinois State Police since 2008. He had just completed a temporary assignment in Air Operations and was recently re-assigned to District 15 as a patrolman.
Sauter is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and family.
Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur offered condolences Friday to Sauter's family and colleagues.
“On behalf of the Tollway board and entire Illinois Tollway, we are saddened by the tragic loss of Illinois State Police District 15 Trooper James Sauter," Lafleur said. "District 15 and its troopers are assigned to serve and protect our 286-mile system of tollways, and we consider them to be part of our Illinois Tollway family. We extend our sympathy to Trooper Sauter’s family and the Illinois State Police after this horrible accident.”