After fatal I-88 crash, Durbin calls for closer oversight - KMSP-TV

After fatal I-88 crash, Durbin calls for closer oversight of truckers

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AURORA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is calling for a federal investigation of a deadly crash on I-88 in west suburban Aurora that claimed the life of a tollway worker and seriously injured an Illinois State trooper on Monday.

Durbin asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Thursday to "immediately and fully" investigate the accident to determine if the driver or his employer, DND International, violated rules limiting the number of hours a driver can be on the road, and to take steps to ensure every trucking company is complying with the law.

LETTER: Durbin writes to FMCSA

The driver, Renato V. Velasquez, 46, 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 felonies, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Velasquez was also cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield to stationary emergency vehicles, state police said. He was ordered held on a $150,000 bond.

Vincent Petrella became the first Illinois Tollway employee in more than a decade to be killed on the job in the fiery crash that also critically injured ISP Trooper Douglas J. Balder.

Balder, 38, was helping Petrella, 39, with a broken-down semi about 9:45 p.m. Monday in the right-hand lane and shoulder of eastbound I-88, according to authorities.

"The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has the authority and the responsibility to investigate incidents like the one this week in Illinois and I urge you to quickly and fully investigate this accident," Durbin said in the letter.

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