Hours after an Illinois State Police trooper was killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer, a Chicago civic group stepped forward with the first cash gift to assist his remaining family members.
For more than 40 years, the 100 Club of Chicago has stepped forward to assist the grieving relatives of fallen firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. On this day, it was the wife and family of Trooper James Sauter. They received the first installment of what will eventually be $50,000 in support.
Sauter was killed at about 11 p.m. Thursday when a truck collided with his squad car that was pulled over on the shoulder of Interstate 294 south of Willow Road in Chicago's northwest suburbs. Both vehicles burst into flames.
"Trooper Sauter left a legacy of courage, honor and duty and we will never forget Star #6095," said ISP Director Hiram Grau. "Our hearts are heavy with grief, but they are also strengthened by Trooper Sauter’s brave calling and dedicated service to ISP."
The 100 Club of Chicago has raised and given away more than $9 million to surviving families since its inception in 1966. The group pays the way for the children of fallen officers to go to college and now has 10 universities participating in a program providing more than $2 million in scholarship support.
Sauter's is the 248th family to receive support.