Vietnam Vet, Illinois Trooper Honored on Anniversary of I-55 Crash

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Springfield, IL – Illinois State Police remember Trooper Bernard Skeeters, who was killed on May 20, 1982, when a semi-truck driver, who fell asleep at the wheel, struck his patrol car on Interstate 55.

According to state police, Trooper Skeeters was patrolling behind an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) paint truck around 9 a.m. when the semi-truck crashed into his squad car. The impact forced the squad car into the IDOT truck, which was carrying flammable paint thinners, resulting in an explosion that instantly killed Trooper Skeeters. The drivers of both the IDOT truck and the semi survived.

The semi driver was charged with reckless homicide, but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Trooper Skeeters, a Vietnam War veteran and 12-year Illinois State Police veteran, was assigned to District 9 in Springfield. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

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