Illinois state trooper killed in fiery crash

Authorities say a semi-truck slammed into an Illinois State Police squad car in Chicago's northern suburbs, causing both vehicles to burst into flames and killing a state trooper.

The State Police says Trooper James Sauter was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place Thursday night on Interstate 294 on the edge of Northbrook.

The trooper's vehicle was idling on the roadway shoulder when the truck struck it from behind.

State Police Director Hiram Grau says both vehicles burst into flames. The truck driver was hospitalized for burns to his hand.

The 28-year-old trooper joined the Illinois State Police in June 2008.

In a statement released Friday, Grau offered condolences to his family and said Sauter left a "legacy of courage, honor and duty."

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