On Wednesday Illinois State Trooper Starlena Wilson celebrated what she calls her ninth "Alive Day."  According to the Illinois State Police District Chicago Facebook page Trooper Wilson was hit while conducting a traffic stop on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago nine years ago Wednesday.

Here's how Trooper Wilson remembers about what happened to her:

When it initially happened, I remember thinking “what just happened? How could this have happened? Let me try and get up and dust myself off.” Not realizing the severity of the situation. I didn’t initially feel pain, I can’t even describe what it felt like at the moment of impact. But I do remember the pain once I realized that I couldn’t stand and realizing that “oh! This is probably bad.”

Trooper Wilson, unlike some officers in the same situation, recovered. She has the use of her legs and has as normal a life someone could have.

What causes crashes like this is distracted driving. It's gotten worse in the nine years since Trooper Wilson's crash. These days we have move over laws, that require motorists to slow down and change lanes to give police officers, paramedics, firemen, utility workers and in some cases tow truck drivers a more safe working environment.

I tend to apply this law to any vehicle I see on the side of the road. It's fairly simple to slow down and move over a lane giving whoever might be outside of a stopped vehicle on the road lots of room. I'd encourage you to do the same.

And thank you Trooper Wilson for  your service to the Illinois State Police and the people who use the roads you patrol.


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