If you live in the Chicago area like I do, you’ve by now heard or read about the death of Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert, who was struck by a vehicle on an Illinois tollway on Jan. 12 after he got out of his patrol car to assist drivers involved in an accident. Well, we now know a little bit about the driver of the car who authorities say killed Lambert. His name is Scott Larsen, he is a CPA from Wisconsin, and he has a history of driving-related offenses.
Larsen, 60, was arrested in Kenosha, Wis. last week on a warrant charging him with reckless homicide in Lambert’s death. He was taken into custody by Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department deputies at his office on Jan. 24 at the request of Illinois State Police, the Kenosha News reported.
Larsen appeared in court in Kenosha on Jan. 25, where his bond was set at $25,000. He posted bond and was released on Friday, according to published reports.
Lambert, 34, who joined the Illinois State Police in 2013 and was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Haiti, was on his way home at about 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 12 after finishing his shift when he stopped to help with a three-car crash in the northbound lanes of Interstate 294 at Willow Road in Northbrook, Ill. While he was outside of his patrol car, Lambert was struck by a vehicle driven by Larsen.
The trooper sustained serious injuries and was given CPR by an off-duty nurse, before being transported to Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, Ill., where he was pronounced dead later that evening, according to an Illinois State Police press release.
Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said Lambert “deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself.”
According to published reports, Larsen cooperated with law enforcement at the scene of the accident, and he was not drunk when the crash occurred.
Funeral services were held for Lambert on Jan. 18. He leaves behind a wife and 14-month-old daughter.
Larsen was an owner of the Kenosha-based CPA firm Villani Becker & Larsen, which merged with another firm in 2017 and is now known as SCL CPAs. The Kenosha News noted on Jan. 25 that Larsen was one of four CPAs listed on the firm’s website; however, his name has since been removed from the “Meet Our Team” section of the website and his bio has been deleted.
Larsen is also the founder of Payroll for Pastors, which provides payroll processing, bookkeeping, accounting, and income tax preparation services for churches and ministries.
In a promotional video, he said he had pastors from all sorts of denominations asking him to do their taxes, “even before I really came back and renewed my relationship with God. And more and more pastors came to me, and I was like, ‘God was just leading them in my direction.’”
Maybe Larsen took the Carrie Underwood song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” too literally, because in 2016 he pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony, for driving the wrong way on Highway 45 in Milwaukee County in 2014. According to reports, he nearly struck an ambulance before being stopped by police.
After passing the ambulance going the wrong way, Larsen did a U-turn on the highway and pulled over. When police arrived, they found Larsen peeing on the side of the road.
Larsen was sentenced to 30 days in jail plus two years of probation for the 2016 conviction.
He is expected to be extradited back to Illinois this week to face charges in connection with Lambert’s death.