WARREN, Ill. (AP) - Hundreds of mourners gathered in a northern Illinois high school gymnasium Wednesday to remember an Illinois State Police trooper who died after she was struck during a traffic stop.
With rows of police officers in dress uniforms at Warren High School, Trooper Brooke Jones-Story was remembered as a warm family woman, brave public servant and devoted animal rescuer. The mourners heard Gov. J.B. Pritzker lament that Jones-Story, 34, was the third trooper killed this year while performing their duties on state highways.
"This is the second time since I took office that I've been asked to eulogize a member of the Illinois State Police. Before the week is over, I will again speak to the life and death of a third trooper as well," Pritzker said. "And I promise, I will carry the burden of action that our collective grief conveys every day of my administration."
Trooper Christopher Lambert, 34, was killed in January while responding to a traffic crash on Interstate 294 near Northbrook. And Trooper Gerald Ellis, 36, was traveling home in his squad car on Interstate 94 in Lake County when a wrong-way driver struck him head-on. His funeral is set for Friday in Grayslake.
Jones-Story died Thursday along Route 20 near Route 75 in Freeport. The 12-year veteran was inspecting a truck she had pulled to the shoulder of the road when another semitrailer hit her, along with the squad car and the truck she'd stopped.
Jones-Story joined the Illinois State Police as a cadet in 2007 and met her husband, Master Sgt. Robert Story, at a crash scene. They lived on a farm where they took in rescue animals, and not just dogs.
"They have now rescued two pot-bellied pigs, four horses, four donkeys and a couple more dogs," said friend Sharon White. "This is what made Brooke happy. She was dedicated to saving the animals who needed the most love and attention."
Speakers also noted Jones-Story's devotion to her family and friends, and her love for Disney movies, the Chicago Cubs and CrossFit.