Funeral services have been set for the Illinois State Trooper killed in a car crash.
Visitation for James Sauter will be held Monday at the Hills Funeral Home at 10201 South Roberts Rd. in Palos Hills. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Morraine Valley Church, 6300 W. 127th St. in Palos Heights.
With heavy hearts, friends and coworkers of Sauter visited his wife Elizabeth late Friday afternoon at their Vernon Hills home– offering whatever emotional comfort they could.
The head of the 100 Club of Chicago presented trooper Sauter’s wife with a $15,000 check on Friday. In a few weeks she will receive another $35,000 from the organization– a bit of help for the young widow, whose husband paid the ultimate price for the job he’s wanted since childhood.
The 28-year-old was killed late Thursday night on Interstate 294 near Willow Road when a semi-truck hit him from behind. Both vehicles burst into flames and the young trooper died at the scene.
According to friends and family, James Sauter lived and breathed the life of law enforcement. A childhood dream he turned into reality in 2008 when he was assigned to District 15. That year, fresh from the academy, he was awarded a medal for saving a motorists life.
Now– a five year veteran of the force, he had recently been reassigned to tollway patrol.
Trooper Sauter’s body was ceremoniously carried to the medical examiner’s office Friday morning, surrounded by fellow law enforcement.
“All of us at the Illinois State Police are devastated we lost a wonderful person a wonderful human being and certainly a wonderful police officer.”
What caused the crash and why trooper Sauter was stopped on the southbound shoulder of the interstate is still being investigated.
It is unclear if the trooper’s lights were on or if the driver of the semi was breaking any laws.
The driver of the semi – a United Van Lines truck – suffered some burns but will be okay.
Police are questioning him and several witnesses as they try to piece this puzzle together.