More than a year after he was killed when a semi truck slammed into his squad car on I-294, an Illinois State Police trooper from Vernon Hills received one of the force's highest honors.
James Sauter was named this year's recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, given to state police personnel who are killed or seriously injured, during a ceremony Friday in downstate Chatham.
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Sauter, 28, was killed March 28, 2013, when a United Van Lines semi truck crashed into the back of his squad car, parked on the shoulder of the tollway near Northbrook.
In all, 92 police and civilians were recognized during the awards ceremony.
"The courage and determination of our sworn and civilian employees in keeping Illinois citizens safe is commendable," Director Hiram Grau said in a news release. "Their unselfish acts and commitment to serve their agency and community underscores their desire to help others."