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CHICAGO (CBS) — Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down and move over when you approach emergency vehicles with their hazard lights flashing – but is it just tough talk?
The wife of an injured Illinois state trooper is wondering that after her husband was critically injured by a driver who didn’t move over. Adding insult to injury, she says the driver is now catching a break.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar learned all about her 19 months of hell.
Video shows a charming, charismatic guy named Brian Frank – dancing and twirling a big umbrella and kissing his bride. That was the man Lauren Frank fell in love with.
But life has since changed horrifically.
“I would say I’m profoundly heartbroken and tired all the time – becoming a full-time caregiver instead of newlyweds,” Lauren Frank said.
The young couple’s dreams were put on hold on a snowy February day in 2021.
Brian Frank was on the job Illinois State Police trooper on Feb. 15 of last year. He was stopped on Interstate 55 near Plainfield with his emergency lights on – when another car slammed into the back of the squad car.
“While Brian is alive and breathing, like, he’s not mentally here – and I don’t get to talk to him or hear from him,” said Lauren Frank.
But Lauren has never stopped using her voice for Brian.
Last summer, she was there as Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation to strengthen Scott’s Law — which requires drivers to move over when emergency vehicles are stopped.
That is the very law Angel Casillas is accused of breaking. Casillas is the driver prosecutors say slammed into the back of Trooper Brian Frank’s squad car.
“I mean, it’s a relief, because there needs to be consequences for kind of a thing in order for there to be progress,” said Lauren Frank.
Casillas was charged this April with violating Scott’s Law – but his bond was quickly reduced from $250,000 to $100,000. He only had to post 10 percent — and on top of that, a Will County judge gave him permission to drive out of state — on the same roads on which Brian was catastrophically injured.
Lauren Frank: “I think there’s been enough leniency in this case in particular.”
De Mar: “Does this is some way add salt to the wound?”
Lauren Frank: “Yeah, I mean, it’s painful. It forces you to relive it. I think there’s probably some kind of disconnect somewhere.”
An online petition shares some of the same frustration over the judge’s decision.
So far this year, Illinois State Police have written 559 Scott’s Law tickets.
But 12 squad cars have still been hit.
Last year, 13 troopers were struck — including Brian Frank.
“My hope is that this makes people change their decision-making when they’re driving,” said Lauren Frank.