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Truck driver charged with DUI in tractor-trailer crash that injured Illinois State Police trooper

Truck driver charged with DUI in tractor-trailer crash that injured Illinois State Police trooper

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A truck driver was driving drunk when he slammed into an Illinois State Police squad car, leaving a trooper injured in March, according to charges filed against him Tuesday.

Police say Kyamran Makharadze, 26, of St. Louis, rear-ended the squad car while the trooper was assisting with a crash investigation at about 11 p.m. March 20 along northbound Interstate 55 in St. Clair County.

The initial crash, reported at 10:29 p.m. that night, involved a vehicle that struck a light pole that fell across the lanes of traffic. Seven more vehicles struck the downed pole before troopers could get there. 

One of the troopers, who positioned himself away from the scene to slow approaching vehicles, was outside of his marked squad car with lights activated when Makharadze struck him and his squad car with his tractor trailer.

The trooper, who has not been named, is still recovering from injuries and has not returned to duty, according to the Illinois State Police.

Makharadze has been charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated reckless driving, improper passing of an emergency vehicle, failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash, driving with expired license plates, and overweight on registration.

On Friday, Makharadze posted his $150,000 bail.

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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