Fundraiser Launched for Oswego State Trooper Injured in I-88 Crash

Online T-shirt sale to benefit Douglas Balder and another injured state trooper.

Doug Balder, taken during his Welcome Home Ceremony in June 2013 | Credit: Natalie Stevens
Doug Balder, taken during his Welcome Home Ceremony in June 2013 | Credit: Natalie Stevens
An online fundraiser will benefit an Illinois State Trooper who was seriously hurt in a fiery crash that killed a tollway worker in January.

State Trooper Doug Balder, an Oswego resident, suffered severe injuries and burns after he and Illinois Tollway worker Vincent Petrella stopped to assist a stranded semi-truck driver on I-88 near Eola Road. According to police, another semi-truck was heading east when it slammed into the trooper's car, the stalled semi and the toll worker's car. The lights on Balder's squad car were reportedly flashing at the time of the crash.

Petrella, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Balder, a U.S. Navy Senior Chief who returned from his third deployment last June, was able to crawl out from his burning vehicle, which was crushed by the crash.

The Illinois Auxiliary of Wives Behind the Badge recently launched an online T-shirt sale to benefit Balder, along with fellow State Trooper Nathan Shanks. Shanks was seriously hurt while on duty in a multi-vehicle crash March 4 on Interstate 57 in Franklin County.

The front of the cotton T-shirt has a police star and the words "In Support Of #5899 and #6171," the badge numbers of Balder and Shanks. The back of the shirt contains a police officer's prayer.

Proceeds from the T-shirt sale will be split and given to Balder and Shanks to assist with medical expenses and needs associated with their recoveries.

Shirts are $20 each and available in unisex sizes small to 4XL.

Click here to order a shirt.


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