Chicago, IL- Just one day after truck driver Renato Velasquez pleaded not guilty to numerous traffic violations related to a January truck accident, the family of the man he killed in devastating traffic accident at the end of January filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
The slain man, Vincent Petrella, was just doing his duty as a long-time Illinois Tollway employee when he was killed. Petrella, a 39 year-old father of three had stopped to stranded truck driver whose rig had broken down on Interstate 88 just after 9:00 p.m. on January 28th.
Illinois State Trooper, Douglas Balder stopped to help Petrella and the stranded motorists when the group was struck by tractor-trailer. Balder and Petrella were both in the vehicles with their emergency lights flashing when they were struck. The accident set off a chain of collisions and ignited a large blaze.
The impact of the collision killed Petrella instantly.Balder was seriously injured suffering burns to 15 percent of his body and broken ribs among other injuries.
Last month, Balder’s wife filed a personal injury lawsuit against Velasquez and his trucking company DND International. Now the Petrella’s family has filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for the family man’s wrongful death alleging Valesquez was negligent, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In February, Velasquez was dubbed an “imminent hazard” but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and had his commercial license revoked. In the aftermath of the accident, Velasquez told police he had only 3 ½ hours of sleep after working 37 hours. He also said he did not see the disabled truck or the emergency vehicles until it was too late.
Authorities also discovered Valesquez had a troubling driving record which including speeding and driving on a suspended license.
Velasquez pleaded not guilty yesterday to 10 charges which include driving a commercial vehicle while impaired and fatigued, driving beyond the maximum number of hours and four counts of falsifying his driver log books, failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
When a person has been injured or lost a loved one in a Chicago truck accident, they need to hire an attorney that specializes in these types of accidents. Commercial truck accidents are significantly different than most traffic accidents. In order to assure the victims are fairly compensated, a Chicago truck accident attorney will conduct an investigation that goes beyond measuring skid marks and speaking with victims. A comprehensive investigation which includes examining a driver’s and trucking company’s safety record is critical in building a strong case that results in a generous personal injury or wrongful death settlement.
An Illinois truck accident attorney is focused on doing what is best for their client or clients, and is willing to take whatever steps are necessary to assure those they represent prevail. With the assistance of a truck accident attorney, injury victims or a family that has lost a loved one will get the compensation they require to cover their medical bills and their other accident-related costs.