Lake, IL- Late last month, an Illinois Tollway maintenance employee was killed and state trooper was injured when they were struck by a tractor-trailer on the Regan Memorial Parkway outside of Aurora.
The accident took place in January 28th around 9 p.m. as a Tollway worker, Vincent Petrella, and Trooper Douglas Balder were helping a stranded tractor-trailer driver. As they were attempting to move the stalled truck another tractor-trailer slammed into the two men and set off a fiery chain-reaction collision.
“The impact of the crash caused all vehicles to become engulfed in flames,” Illinois State Police Lt. Bob Meeder told CBS News.
The tractor-trailer partially ran over Trooper Balder’s patrol car while he was inside. Balder was taken to a local hospital suffering from critical injuries.
The truck driver told authorities that his vision was obscured by another tractor-trailer and by the time the vehicle merged out of his line of vision it was too late for him to do the same.
Petrella was killed instantly, leaving behind a wife and child. He began working for the Tollway in 2003, and was described as family man with a strong work ethic.
Police allege the truck driver violated federal regulations and he was charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired or fatigued, making a false report of record and duty status, and driving beyond the 14- and 11-hour rules—all felony charges.
Police allege the driver’s log indicates the driver his working day began at 8 a.m. that morning, which means he logged on more hours than he legally should have. The driver allegedly told police he had only slept three hours before his long shift began.
But this wasn’t the truck driver’s first accident and he has a list of traffic violations which include speeding and other minor traffic violations. According to ABC News 7, the driver was convicted of highway speeding; and in June of 2010, Velasquez was convicted of improperly backing up his truck on a one-way street. In 2012, the driver pleaded guilty to driving with an obstructed of windshield which resulted in a property damage accident. He was in a passenger vehicle but his traffic violations reveal a pattern of unsafe driving habits.
The majority of truck drivers closely follow state and federal regulations. They are safe and cautious drivers and can go their entire careers without causing a dangerous or deadly accident. But when a driver decides to driver when they are fatigued, intoxicated, or distracted, they will be liable for any injuries or property damage that result from their carelessness.
Trucking companies can also be accountable for a truck accident victim’s injuries if they played a role in the resulting accident. In order to determine if a trucking company is also negligent, accident victims can contact an Illinois truck accident attorney to begin a detailed investigation and maximize the victim’s injury settlement.
When you have been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large commercial truck, you can maximize your injury settlement by retaining a Lake truck accident attorney.