Man was leading truck convoy when he was struck, killed by trooper's SUV

News-DemocratMay 14, 2013 

— A 46-year-old Monmouth man died early Tuesday morning after an Illinois State Police SUV struck him.

James R. Gaskill, 1020 S. Main St., Monmouth, was struck and killed in the center lane of Illinois 159, near the corner of Emerald Lane, according to Rick Stone, the St. Clair County coroner.

Gaskill "died of massive trauma to the neck and chest," after he was hit by a Chevrolet Tahoe registered to the Illinois State Police, according to Stone.

In a news release, Illinois State Police said a District 11 trooper was traveling southbound on Illinois 159, transporting a suspect to St. Clair County jail for driving under the influence processing.

According to Illinois State Trooper Calvin Dye Jr., at about 1:24 a.m. Tuesday, there were six tractor-trailers illegally parked pointed north in the turn lane of Illinois 159 near Emerald Terrace.

Gaskill "darted" into the southbound lane and was struck by the Tahoe, Dye said. The trooper said he didn't see Gaskill until after he struck him, Dye said.

Gaskill was leading a convoy of carnival trucks that had stopped on the road.

According to ISP, the preliminary investigation revealed the trooper was driving under the posted speed limit.

"It is unclear at this time how one of the pedestrians was positioned in front of the trooper's vehicle," the release said. "Based on witness statements, the pedestrian was running in the southbound lanes of traffic near the center dotted line."

The Illinois State Police investigation into the accident continues, Dye said.

The name of the Illinois State Police officer driving the Tahoe has not been released. Dye said the male trooper, who has been with the department for seven years, remains on active duty.

Monmouth is located in northwestern Illinois, about 30 miles west of Peoria.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at or 618-239-2570. Reporter Jamie Forsythe and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at or 618-239-2570.

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