Our Pledge To You

Crime

$250K bail for man charged with killing state trooper in I-294 crash

Scott A Larsen | Illinois State Police

Bail was set at a quarter of a million dollars for the Wisconsin man charged with killing Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert in a crash earlier this month on the Tri-State Tollway near Glenview.

Scott A. Larsen, 61, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was charged Monday with one count of reckless homicide of a police officer and two counts of reckless homicide involving Scott’s Law, which “requires vehicles to slow down, move over and change lanes if possible, when they are approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with its hazard lights activated,” according to a statement from Illinois State Police.

His bail was set at $250,000 during a hearing Tuesday morning in Skokie. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 26, according to Cook County court records.

Christopher Lambert

Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was struck and killed Saturday afternoon as he was trying to help at an accident scene on I-294 in the north suburbs. | Photo provided by Illinois State Police

Lambert, 34, was on his way home Jan. 12 in an unmarked ISP squad car when he pulled over to report two crashes involving three vehicles on northbound I-294 near Willow Road, prosecutors said. He got out of his squad car and stood in the left shoulder to collect the information of the drivers involved in that crash.

The crashed vehicles – a silver Jeep Cherokee, a black Buick LaCrosse and a gray Toyota Corolla – were stopped in the left shoulder and partially in the left lane, prosecutors said. A black Dodge Challenger, equipped with front and rear cameras that captured the crash, was stopped in the left lane approaching the crash scene, and Lambert’s squad car was stopped behind the Dodge with its emergency lights on.

Larsen was driving his black Jeep Grand Cherokee in the left lane about 4:45 p.m. when he sped up and veered into the left shoulder as he approached the stopped vehicles, according to prosecutors and police. The Jeep hit Lambert, sending him airborne, before it hit the crashed vehicles.

The Dodge’s cameras recorded the Jeep hitting Lambert and tollway cameras showed Larsen speeding at 71 mph in the 60 mph zone about 5 minutes before the crash, prosecutors said. Larsen also tested positive for marijuana in a DUI test and admitted to vaping the drug the night before.

Larsen has a prior conviction for DUI and reckless endangering safety related to a 2014 crash in Milwaukee, prosecutors said. If he is able to post bond, he will be prohibited from driving or having any contact with Lambert’s family.

He will also have to turn in his driver’s license and passport and will be ordered to “refrain from drinking or indulging in illegal substances,” according to court records.