FREEPORT – An overpass on U.S. Route 20 soon may be named for a fallen Illinois state trooper.
The state House on Thursday passed a resolution to name the Springfield Road overpass the Trooper Brooke Jones-Story Memorial Overpass.
Jones-Story, 34, was conducting a traffic stop March 28 when she was struck and killed by a semitrailer.
Lawmakers also voted to strengthen the penalties for Scott’s Law, which requires drivers to slow down and pull over, if possible, when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
Sixteen troopers have been hit by drivers this year, and three have died.
“It’s very fitting to have been able to pass the resolution in honor of this great trooper but also to take one of our first steps as an assembly to strengthen the penalties for violators,” said state Rep. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, who filed the resolution shortly after Jones-Story’s death.
Her husband, retired ISP Master Sgt. Robert Story Jr., chose the overpass because it was an area she often patrolled.
“I feel both joy and sadness, to be honest with you,” said Story, a former Mount Morris police officer. “Brooke always worked pretty smart where she was, and she was often in that Springfield Road area.
“At first, [lawmakers] wanted to name the area near where the crash happened after her, but really, that’s not an area that I or the family want to be reminded of.”
Drivers now face fines between $100 and $10,000 and a driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years for a Scott’s Law violation.
Under the proposal, minimum fines would begin at $250 and increase up to $25,000 if a violation results in injury or death. Drivers also could spend up to 14 years in prison if the crash results in the deaths of two or more people.
Both the resolution in honor of Jones-Story and the bill to stiffen the penalties require Senate passage and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.