Sgt. Herschel Turner, Jr. of the Moline Acres Police Department succumbed to injuries sustained when he was apparently struck by another police vehicle during a traffic stop on December 5, 2020.
Sgt. Turner served 22 years as a veteran in law enforcement. He leaves behind his wife and his children.
According to KSDK.com, Chief Ihler said his officer was on his way to back up another Bellefontaine Neighbors officer who had pulled over a car near Chambers Road and Lance Drive for a traffic violation. Herschel Turner, who worked with the neighboring police department, was already on scene to back up the Bellefontaine Neighbors officer.
On his way to the traffic stop, the second Bellefontaine Neighbors officer saw a small silver sedan driving erratically in a nearby parking lot. The car got in front of him as he was heading to the traffic stop, and he tried to get the license plate on the car but couldn’t. So he sped up to catch up to it to run the plates, Ihler said.
He saw the car run a stop sign at Chambers Road and Coburg Lands Drive and as the officer and the car came over a crest along Chambers Road, he saw the car he was trying to catch up crash into his fellow officers’ cars. He also saw Herschel Turner standing to the left of the cars, somewhat in the traffic lane, and swerved to the right into a grassy area to avoid a collision, Ihler said.
“We can only tend to believe that Sgt. Herschel Turner felt that he was in a dangerous spot standing in the traffic lane after the collision, so we believe that he ran into the grassy area, which would have been the most likely thing to do for anybody,” Ihler said. “And he ran into the path of the police car at the same time.
“There was no way of knowing that that was going to happen.”
Ihler said police discovered the silver sedan had been stolen out of Vinita Park. All of the people inside ran from the car and remain on the loose. Police found a gun inside the car, too, he said.