Georgia truck driver charged in state trooper's death

Apr 24, 2013

A Georgia truck driver has been charged in the death of an Illinois State Police trooper. Kyle Deatherage was killed last November when he was struck by a tractor-trailer. IPR’S Brian Mackey has more.

Prosecutors are charging Johnny Felton Jr. of Georgia with reckless homicide. They say he was driving his semi north on I-55 near Litchfield when he allegedly hit and killed Deatherige, who had stopped another motorist. Chris Matoush is the Montgomery County state's attorney.

"He basically violated what we call Scott's Law -- or failure to reduce speed or change lanes -- when he observed ... Trooper Deatherige's motorcycle with its lights activated performing a traffic stop."

They're also charging Felton with having a limited form of a Georgia drivers' license, which only allows him to be a commercial truck driver in that state. Officials say Felton has been taken into custody in Georgia and agreed not to fight his transfer to Illinois. If he's convicted, Felton would face a sentencing range from probation up to 14 years in prison.