PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A squad car containing two Illinois State Police (ISP) troopers was struck by a driver during a traffic stop on Western Ave. just north of Laura Ave. in Peoria early Thursday morning.
At approximately 12:00 a.m. Thursday, a white Saturn traveling northbound on Western Ave. struck the rear driver’s side of the squad car, causing it to strike the rear of the previously stopped vehicle, a silver Kia.
The squad car was fully marked with emergency lights activated. Inside the vehicle was an ISP Field Training Officer (FTO) and an ISP Probationary Trooper (PT). Those inside the Kia sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to a local area hospital for treatment, while the state troopers were uninjured.
The white Saturn fled the scene and was later stopped by the Peoria Police Department. The driver of the Saturn, 35-year-old Natasha M. Smith of Peoria, was taken to a local area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Smith was charged with a violation of Scott’s Law, driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Anyone who violates Scott’s Law commits a business offense and faces a fine of no less than $250 or more than $10,000 for a first offense. If another person is injured as a result of the violation, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between six months and two years.
There have been 14 ISP squad cars struck in relation to Scott’s Law in 2021.
ISP is reminding the public of Scott’s Law protocols, otherwise known as the “Move Over” law. When approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with its hazard lights activated, drivers are required to slow down and change lanes when it is safe to do so.
“As always, the ISP continues to ask for the motoring public’s help to avoid any unnecessary tragedy by making responsible choices when behind the wheel,” said ISP District 8 Lieutenant Jason Bevard. “These crashes, which are totally preventable, demonstrate the extreme dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and failure to follow Scott’s Law.”