Semi Driver in Fatal I-88 Crash Worked for Naperville Company

Monday night killed a tollway worker, injured a state trooper.

Credit: Todd Sherman/Northern Illinois FireGround Photos
Credit: Todd Sherman/Northern Illinois FireGround Photos
A 46-year-old Hanover Park man working for a Naperville company, DND International, Inc., has been charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued or impaired following a fatal crash on I-88 this past week, according to the Daily Herald. 

Renato V. Velasquez is also charged with making a false report of record and duty status, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield to stationary emergency vehicles, according to the Daily Herald. 

He is accused of crashing into a police car Monday night, which had its lights flashing, and a disabled semi truck, which led to both vehicles bursting into flames, according ABC 7 Chicago. The crash killed a 39-year-old tollway worker, Vincent Petrella of Wheeling, and seriously injured a 38-year-old state trooper, Trooper Douglas J. Balder of Oswego, according to ABC 7 Chicago.  

Petrella and Balder had been assisting a disabled vehicle on I-88 in Aurora near Eola Road when the crash occurred around 9:45 p.m., according to the Chicago Tribune. 

The Daily Herald reports Velasquez had only gotten 3 1/2 hours of sleep during a 37.5 hour shift when he was on the roadway that night. 

Meanwhile, Velasquez's lawyer said sleepiness was not the cause of the crash, according to the article.  His lawyer said his client's vision had been blocked by another semi driving in front of him on I-88 and that when the semi merged, Velsaquez did not have enough time to do the same to avoid the crash, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Velsaquez appeared Wednesday in DuPage County court where a judge ordered a $150,000 bond, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates DND International Inc. has a spotty history with unsafe driving rating of 92.4 percent, which means "nearly 93 percent of all trucking companies have better records than DND," according to NBC Chicago. 

Petrella had been an equipment laborer with the Illinois Tollway since 2005, said     Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a statement released early Tuesday. He started his career with Illinois Tollway as a toll collector. 

He had two children and was described as hard-working and a "family man" who was committed to doing his best each day to serve Tollway customers, according to the Illinois Tollway statement. 


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