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Aretha Franklin sings praises of Illinois after highway help

CHICAGO (AP) — Aretha Franklin’s spokesman says the Queen of Soul is grateful to the state of Illinois for its help when her tour bus broke down on the way to Chicago.

Transmission problems stopped the bus around 1:20 a.m. Monday a few miles from downtown on eastbound Interstate 290.

Franklin’s assistants couldn’t find a car service with an available vehicle. That’s when the Illinois State Police stepped in.

Three units from ISP, and three from the Illinois Department of Transportation, drove Franklin and her entourage to their hotel.

Franklin’s reaction? Spokesman Clarence Waldron says the singer exclaimed, “Hallelujah!” and said, “God was right on time.”

State Police spokesman Matt Boerwinkle says disabled vehicles can be dangerous, so handling breakdowns is a priority. The agency handled more than 82,000 motorist assists last year.

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