Illinois: Leslie Thurow sentenced to 13 years in prison for injuring Trooper Michael Cokins and four others in DUI crash

Illinois State Police modern motors

Illinois State Police

MAYWOOD – The Illinois State Police (ISP), announce the sentencing of Leslie Thurow, female age 61 of Mount Prospect, Illinois, in a drunken driving crash that critically injured ISP Trooper Michael Cokins.  Thurow was sentenced to 13 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for causing the crash that sent Cokins and four others to the hospital.

Leslie W Thurow, age 61 convicted of DUI injury of Illinois State Police Trooper Michael Cokins

On September 6, 2014, at 2:45 p.m., Trooper Cokins was conducting a traffic stop on I-294 northbound at North Avenue.  Trooper Cokins was on the right shoulder of the roadway when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Thurow.  The impact of the collision hurled Trooper Cokins over the hood of the vehicle he had pulled over.  Thurow continued to travel northbound on I-294, where she struck an SUV carrying a family of four.  The SUV rolled over as a result of the crash, and Thurow’s vehicle crashed into the concrete median.  Trooper Cokins suffered 15 broken bones, underwent 8 surgeries, and 17 months of therapy.

Thurow, who was found to be intoxicated at the time of the crash, was charged with several counts of aggravated driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, and aggravated reckless driving.  Thurow’s blood alcohol concentration was over twice the legal limit, and her driver’s license was revoked for previous driving under the influence convictions.

Thurow has spent the last two years in the custody of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police while she awaited trial dates and sentencing.  On December 1, 2016, Thurow was formally sentenced to 13 years for the crime.

On May 1, 2016, Trooper Cokins was medically cleared to return to full duty and returned to his original assignment with the ISP, patrolling the north Tri-State.

“Drinking and driving is a dangerous choice that can lead to deadly consequences,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz.  “Driving under the influence is never a good option and can be very costly both financially and criminally.  Always designate a driver before consuming alcohol,” he stressed.

In addition, the ISP would like to remind motorists about the Move Over Law, often referred to as “Scott’s Law,” which requires motorists to yield to stationary emergency vehicles.  It is the law in Illinois that when approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, other drivers shall yield the right-of-way by making a lane change and reducing speed and proceeding with due caution if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.  Violators of Illinois’ Move Over Law can be fined $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years.