Woman Sentenced to 13 Years in Drunk Driving Crash That Critically Injured State Trooper

A 61-year-old woman has been sentenced to prison in a drunk driving crash that critically injured an Illinois State Trooper more than two years ago, police said.

Leslie Thurow, of Mount Prospect, was sentenced to 13 years at the Illinois Department of Corrections after she was charged with several counts of aggravated driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash and aggravated reckless driving, according to Illinois State Police. 

**WARNING: Graphic footage** Video shows the moment an Illinois State Police trooper was hit by an alleged drunk driver in 2014. The trooper has since returned to work and the driver was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Thurow was accused of striking Trooper Michael Cokins on Interstate 294 near North Avenue around 2:45 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2014. Cokins was conducting a traffic stop on the right shoulder of the roadway when he was hit by a vehicle and hurled over the hood of the car he had pulled over.

The driver allegedly continued traveling northbound on I-294, where she hit an SUV carrying a family of four, police said. The SUV rolled over in the crash and the other vehicle crashed into the concrete median.

Cokins suffered 15 broken bones and underwent eight surgeries and 17 months of therapy before returning to work in May, nearly two years after the crash.

Police said Thurow’s blood alcohol content was over twice the legal limit at the time of the crash and her driver’s license had been revoked for previous driving under the influence convictions. It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney.

“Drinking and driving is a dangerous choice that can lead to deadly consequences,” ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz said in a statement. “Driving under the influence is never a good option and can be very costly both financially and criminally. Always designate a driver before consuming alcohol.”

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