Durbin calls for investigation into I-88 crash

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin calls on Thursday for a federal investigation into the fiery crash on I-88 in Aurora that killed a tollway worker and severely injured a state trooper.

Durbin wants the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to see if the truck driver who’s charged with causing the accident, or his employer, broke the law that limits the number of hours a trucker can be behind the wheel.

46 year-old Renato Velasquez works for DND International. He is accused of plowing into officer Douglas Balder’s squad car. Balder’s vehicle then slammed into Vincent Petrella’s tollway truck. Petrella and Balder were pulled over to help another trucker whose rig broke down.

Petrella died, and Balder is being treated for third-degree burns, and broken ribs and shoulders.

Prosecutors say Velasquez was awake for more than 36 hours at the time of the accident.

But, the defense says he didn’t see the emergency lights from the tollway vehicle and squad car because another truck was in the way.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

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