Tollway worker killed, state trooper seriously hurt in I-88 crash

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An Illinois Tollway worker is killed, and an Illinois State Trooper is critically injured, in a fiery crash on I-88 in Aurora.

39 year-old Vincent Petrella and 38 year-old Trooper Douglas J. Balder both pulled over to help a truck driver whose vehicle broke down when another truck suddenly barreled into all three vehicles. A huge fire erupted.

vincentpetrellaBalder is being treated at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. He has been with the Illinois state police since 2007. He is married, and has two kids.

“We’re extremely thankful that he’s able to survive. If you see the condition of the vehicle, it’s a miracle. It’s a miracle,” said Hiram Grau of the Illinois State Police.

Petrella worked for the Tollway for 13 years. He was an equipment operator laborer for the Tollway since 2005. He began his career as a toll collector.

He leaves behind a wife, a 7 year-old daughter, and a 4 year-old son.

The driver of the semi that caused the crash was treated, and is being questioned. No charges have been filed.

No information has been released about the driver of the disabled truck.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered the state’s flags to be flown at half-staff.


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