Truck Driver Charged in Death of Illinois State Trooper

Wisconsin truck driver faces felony charges

A Wisconsin truck driver faces felony charges for a March wreck that killed an Illinois State Police trooper on a suburban Chicago interstate.

Cook County prosecutors charged 25-year-old Andrew B. Bokelman of Lomira, Wis., with violating three federal regulations for driving a commercial motor vehicle.

The regulations prohibit drivers from operating a vehicle when they're fatigued, driving more than 14 consecutive hours without taking 10 hours off and making false reports about their duties.

Trooper James Sauter was pulled over on the left shoulder on I-294 south of Willow Road when he was hit from behind by Bokelman's truck. Both vehicles burst into flames, and 28-year-old Sauter was killed.

An autopsy revealed Sauter died of "thermal injuries from a post-crash fire," the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. He also suffered inhalation and minor closed head injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Hundreds gathered at his funeral in April.

"More than an outstanding trooper, he was an outstanding human being," said fellow trooper Jason Bradley. "Great hearted, a family man. He loved his wife and loved his family, and he was always willing to help others not only as a trooper but outside of work as well."

Bokelman turned himself in to Illinois State Police Wednesday. A judge set bond at $125,000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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