The Illinois State Police (ISP) is celebrating the homecoming of Trooper Brian Frank who was involved in a serious Scott’s Law crash in 2021 that almost claimed his life. Trooper Frank has been in a hospital and rehabilitation center for more than two years and is finally going home.
On February 15, 2021, Trooper Frank, with his marked squad car’s emergency lights activated, stopped in the left lane of Interstate 55 northbound near Route 30 to block traffic for a crash that had just occurred. While still inside his squad car, a black Cadillac struck the rear of Trooper Frank’s squad car. Trooper Frank was critically injured and required air transport to a local hospital.
After several brain surgeries and months in a hospital, Trooper Frank was finally able to be moved to a rehabilitation center, where he has spent almost two years in recovery. Trooper Frank has faced several setbacks during his recovery, but continues to work through his traumatic brain injury. His devoted wife Lauren, his family, his friends, and ISP have never given up hope.
“Trooper Brian Frank is a special soul and a part of the ISP family that will forever stand by him and his undaunted wife Lauren,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Brian’s work on this earth and his impact on those around him is not yet done and we are so glad he is coming home to a place where can continue to touch the hearts of so many.”
“All of this effort has always been to afford Brian the greatest opportunity to heal, recover, remain dignified, and feel loved,” said Trooper Brian Frank’s wife, Lauren Frank. “Marianjoy [Rehabilitation Hospital] has done just that for the past year and a half and has seen us through all of the ups and down to this very significant moment.”
Lauren has turned her pain into hopes for progress, becoming an advocate for the Move Over Law, also known as Scott’s Law. Lauren spoke about Brian’s recovery as the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill on August 12, 2021 that strengthened the penalties against Scott’s Law violators. Scott’s Law requires drivers approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with their emergency or hazard lights activated, to slow down AND move over. A person who violates Scott’s Law faces a fine of no less than $250 or more than $10,000 for a first offense. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between six months and two years.
Already this year there have been 10 ISP Scott’s Law-related crashes, five of which resulted in an injury to a Trooper. In 2022, ISP had 23 Scott’s Law-related crashes where eight Troopers sustained injuries. More information about ISP about ISP Scott’s Law-related crashes can be found on the ISP website on the Move Over Map.
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE RELEASES FRANK FAMILY STATEMENT
“Brian’s discharge is bittersweet. Two and a half years ago, I imagined this day much differently. I fully expected him to wake up after his natural coma, go to rehab, and return to the home we established together in a matter of weeks. I never could have imagined that he would remain minimally conscious after 26 months living in a rehab hospital. Instead, we purchased a new house with our best friends in order to bring Brian back into an accessible home environment to continue his care and recovery journey. After 17 long months of managing construction, that house is finally ready for us to move into and begin the next chapter. While I am heartbroken to not have Brian fully back, I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity to give him this beautiful space and redefine ‘home.’
All of this effort has always been to afford Brian the greatest opportunity to heal, recover, remain dignified, and feel loved. Marianjoy has done just that for the past year and a half and has seen us through all of the ups and down to this very significant moment. I cannot express enough gratitude to the staff there for caring for Brian in ways that have made this place feel like our temporary home, and not a hospital. Thank you for teaching us, loving us, and preparing us for what’s to come.
Our family and friends hold high hopes that going home will be the answer, and the place that he wakes up. We could not have gotten this far without the ‘Frank Strong’ army, far and wide, so thank you for being behind us every step of the way. Let’s 76 home, B. Frank!” -Lauren Frank