Chicago, IL- The truck driver who caused a fatal accident on the Illinois Tollway in DuPage County last month appeared in court last Monday where he pleaded not guilty to multiple counts even though he has troubling driving record.
Renato Velasquez is facing ten counts which arose out of tragic accident that occurred on I-88 in late January. The charges against him 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.
He is facing additional charges for failing to reduce speed to avoid and accident and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
On January 28th, Velasquez ran over an Illinois Tollway worker and state patrol vehicle with a trooper inside just right before 10 p.m. Velasquez’s struck slammed into state Tollway worker Vincent Petrella and State Trooper Douglas Balder. Both men had stopped to assist another trucker, whose vehicle was stalled in the right lane.
Petrella was killed instantly, and Trooper Balder was seriously injured. The initial impact also set off a chain of collisions and caused several vehicles to be engulfed in flames, but, fortunately, there were no additional injuries.
After the accident, Velasquez told police he did not see the broken down truck or the patrol car until it was too late. He said another truck was obscuring his view and did not see the broken down truck or the men offer aide until it moved out of his way. By then he said it was not able to avoid a collision.
Valesquez also admitted to troopers following the collision that he only had 3.5 hours asleep between his two driving shifts—federal regulations forbid truckers from driving more than 11 hours in a 24-hour period.
Balder suffered burns to 15 percent of his body, bleeding on the brain and a few broken ribs. Up until approximately two weeks ago, Balder had been heavily sedated and was unable to communicate with his family or authorities.
Shortly after the devastating accident, Trooper Balder and his wife Kimberli filed a personal injury suit against Velasquez and his trucking company, DND International. They are seeking compensation for Balder’s injuries, disfigurement, disability and personal damages, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Fatigue has long been an issue for truck drivers and when they are involved in an accident, the driver and accident victims can suffer serious injuries. Truckers who dismiss or ignore the federal hour-of-service regulations can be face costly fines and costly lawsuits if a truck accident occurs.
Truck accident victims can hire a Chicago truck accident attorney and can hold a negligent driver and the trucking company they work for accountable for the resulting injuries or wrongful deaths. Because truck accidents are wildly different than passenger vehicle accidents, victims need the assistance of a legal counsel who specializes in truck accidents.
A Chicago truck accident attorney is capable to conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine which parties are responsible for a victim’s injuries or a person’s untimely death. With legal help, Illinois truck accident victims will receive the compensation they need.