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posted: 2/2/2013 8:00 AM

Trooper sued over fatal I-88 crash near Naperville

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The wife of an Aurora man killed in a motorcycle accident involving a state trooper has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit blaming the officer.

The suit accuses Illinois State Police Master Sgt. David Schneider of causing the Aug. 26, 2011, crash on I-88 that killed 29-year-old Nicholas Linton.

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Linton and two friends were heading east on motorcycles when the victim tried to change lanes and was "clipped from behind" by Schneider's unmarked cruiser, according to the lawsuit.

The impact threw Linton from his motorcycle and into the path of a friend's bike, which struck him, the suit says. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened shortly after 9 p.m. near Winfield Road in the Naperville-Warrenville area. State police previously said the trooper was tailing the motorcycles as they raced along at speeds greater than 90 mph.

The lawsuit accuses Schneider of following too closely, driving negligently and speeding. It says he failed to slow down or activate his siren and emergency lights.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond had no comment on the lawsuit, but in 2011 she said the trooper "followed department policy and did not contribute to any accident in taking law enforcement action."

In the earlier interview, Bond said video from within the trooper's cruiser showed the three motorcycles speeding and braking repeatedly.

"For both strategic and safety reasons, you don't want to tip a motorcycle off that you're pulling them over until you're ready and in a position to do so," she said then. "These motorcycles can quickly accelerate between cars to elude police and cause a much more serious situation, so we don't turn our lights on until we have license plate and identification information available."

Linton's widow, Erica, filed the suit this week in DuPage County court. Her attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit identifies Linton as a father of two and seeks unspecified damages. The case is due in court April 29.

Suit: Police say proper procedure was followed

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