State trooper injured in Joliet is 13th struck by vehicle this year

SHARE State trooper injured in Joliet is 13th struck by vehicle this year

The state trooper was injured Sunday evening after an alleged drunk driver rear-ended his vehicle. | Illinois State Police

A state trooper was injured Sunday night when an alleged drunk driver rear-ended his squad car in southwest suburban Joliet.

It was the 13th time this year an on-duty trooper has been struck, Illinois State Police said.

Rodolfo Mejia, 45, of Channahon, was charged with DUI and also cited for a violation of “Scott’s Law,” which mandates drivers to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles, state police said in a statement.

The trooper was inside his parked car at 6:40 p.m. during a traffic stop on I-80 near Hollywood Road when Mejia rear-ended him, police said. The impact sent the trooper’s car and a pulled over Nissan into a ditch.

Mejia’s car went up in flames shortly after bystanders helped him escape, police said.

The trooper and the Nissan’s driver were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

On Jan. 12, Trooper Christopher Lambert was struck and killed on I-294 when he stopped to help at a three-car crash in the north suburbs.

“Please avoid a tragedy from occurring by making responsible driving choices before getting behind the wheel,” Illinois State Police Captain David Schneider said in the statement.

Court information on Mejia was unavailable.

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