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Vincent Petrella, 39, killed, Illinois State Trooper Douglas Balder critically injured in crash and explosion when their vehicles are struck by a tractor-trailer on Reagan Tollway in Aurora, Illinois
An explosive crash on the Reagan Tollway killed a toll worker instantly and left an Illinois state trooper, identified as Trooper Douglas Balder seriously injured. Representatives for the Illinois Tollway identified the worker who died as Vincent Petrella, 39, an employee since 2005. According to state police, Petrella and the trooper were responding to a disabled semi-trailer on the right shoulder and lane of I-88 eastbound at Eola Road in Aurora around 10 p.m. Monday when another semi, driven by Renato Velasquez, 46, crashed into all three vehicles. The trooper had been shining light on the scene because that stretch of road is so dark. The vehicles burst into flames, and Petrella was killed. The trooper's car became wedged under one of the trailers.