Funeral held for trooper killed on I-294

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Funeral services were held today for Illinois State Trooper James Sauter, who was killed last Thursday in a fiery crash on the Tristate Tollway.

Officers and troopers from police departments across the country attended the funeral at the Morraine Valley Church in Palos Heights.

Sauter, who was 28, entered the police academy about five years ago.  He was a pilot for the Illinois State Police, but he enjoyed being on patrol even more and he requested to be transferred back to road duty shortly before the crash.

“He was an outstanding human being,” said Sauter’s partner, Illinois State Trooper Jason Bradley. “The law enforcement community and the citizens of Illinois certainly lost a great man.”

Last Thursday around 11:00 p.m., Sauter was in his cruiser parked on I-294 just south of Willow Road when a semi tractor trailer hit him from behind.  Both vehicles burst into flames.  Sauter was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sauter is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his parents.

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