A Hanover Park man has been charged with causing a fiery crash near Eola Road off the interstate, resulting in the death of a toll worker and serious injuries to a state trooper. Both officials had been bravely executing emergency responsibilities of their respective jobs when the tragic accident occurred.
According to family and friends, the toll worker was dedicated to helping others. The trooper had served in the military, and was well-liked and respected by his fellow law enforcement colleagues.
Reports indicated the toll worker had stopped on Interstate 88 in Aurora, attempting to provide assistance to a disabled semi that had pulled off the highway on the shoulder of the right lane. The tollway truck was behind the semi and a state trooper's vehicle that had also stopped to help. The toll worker and trooper were attempting to assist the driver of the stalled semi when another semi struck all three vehicles, causing an explosive fireball.
The toll worker, a 39-year-old father of two, was killed in the explosion, and the 38-year-old state trooper suffered serious injuries. The 46-year-old Hanover Park man operating the semi causing the accident has also been slapped with multiple class four felonies. These include falsifying reports, exceeding the number of hours allowed for driving time, and operating a commercial vehicle while overly fatigued. Officials have accused him of failure to slow down to avoid an accident with an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road. He is scheduled to appear in a bond hearing in county court although no official charges have been filed.
A tollway representative reminded motorists of Scott's Law, a roadway ruling requiring drivers to steer clear of emergency vehicles with flashing lights stopped on the side of the highway. She asked the public to be aware of the first responders who expose themselves to danger while helping disabled motorists.
Incidents involving a car or trucking accident are involved in an increasing number of injuries and deaths on the road. Illinois state laws urge drivers to exercise caution and care while operating a motor vehicle and they require the trucking industry to adhere to stringent guidelines. Any passenger, pedestrian, cyclist or driver should be aware they are protected by state and federal laws involving road safety practices. Victims of these accidents could be entitled to protection or compensation under the law.
Source: chicago.cbslocal.com, "Driver Charged In I-88 Crash That Killed Tollway Worker" No author given, Jan. 27, 2014