FREEPORT (WREX) — The semi driver who hit and killed Illinois State Police Brooke Jones-Story pleaded guilty Monday in a Stephenson County courtroom.
Craig Dittmar pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and one count of operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued causing death.
On March, 28, 2019, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was inspecting a semi on the side of Route 20 east of Freeport in Stephenson County when the semi driven by Dittmar struck Jones-Story. Dittmar said he fell asleep at the wheel before he struck Jones-Story. Jones-Story, a Stockton native, was the third state police trooper to die in 2019 as a result of a Scott's Law violation, also known as the Move Over Law.
Scott's Law requires Illinois drivers to move over when they see a vehicle with hazard lights on the side of the road. It's it is unsafe to move over, the law requires drivers to slow down to safely pass the vehicle on the side of the road.
Four months after Jones-Story's death, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law that strengthened Scott's Law.
The legislation increased the penalties and fines associated with a Scott's Law violation, included all vehicles with flashing hazard lights and created a Move Over task force to study the issue of violations of Scott’s Law, disabled vehicle law, and stationary authorized emergency vehicle law, with attention to the causes of the violations and ways to protect law enforcement and emergency responders.
Dittmar's sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 3, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the Stephenson County courthouse.