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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

Modified Date: 
Wed, 02/10/2016 - 9:34am
Accident Date: 
Monday, January 27, 2014

NTSB to rule on deadly crash near Naperville

The National Transportation Safety Board will meet Tuesday to rule on the cause of a fatal crash involving a fatigued truck driver on I-88 near Naperville in 2014. The driver with DND International had been driving 20 hours straight and didn't see emergency flares or flashing lights, officials said. Valasquez was convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle while under the impairment of fatigue and sentenced to three years in prison. Illinois tollway worker Vincent Petrella and State Trooper Douglas Balder were helping with a breakdown on the eastbound Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) when a semitrailer truck driven by Renato Velasquez of Hanover Park smashed into their vehicles. Petrella, a father of two young children from Wheeling, died.

Cause of Fiery 2014 Crash That Killed State Trooper Was Likely Drivers Lack of Sleep: NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled Tuesday that the probable cause of a fiery 2014 accident on I-88 was a driver’s failure to get adequate sleep. But the safety agency also faulted that driver’s company, DND International, for failing to adequately police its drivers. And the company operating the other truck, Michael’s Cartage, had a similar history of noncompliance. And they singled out a sister agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for inadequate oversight over the trucking industry. A truck, operated by a different company, Michael’s Cartage, had stalled on the roadway and a tollway worker and State Trooper were rendering aid.

NTSB Blames Lack Of Sleep For 2014 Crash That Killed TollwayWorker

DMD was not ordered off the road by FMCSA. The NTSB report said DMD continued to operate until its insurance was canceled. In the ensuing crash, tollway employee Vincent Petrella was killed, and Illinois State Trooper Douglas Balder was critically injured. DND trucker Renato Velasquez admitted he was falling asleep at the wheel when he plowed into a disabled Volvo truck on I-88 near Naperville. The NTSB also found that the truck Velasquez was driving was in such bad condition it should not have been allowed on the road. It also said that a sister agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has done little to make that happen.

Prosecutors: Trucker Had Been Working 37 Hours Before Fatal Wreck.

Prosecutors said a truck driver accused of causing a fiery crash that killed a tollway worker and critically injured a state trooper had been on the job more than a day-and-a-half, with less than four hours of sleep.

Tollway Worker Killed, Trooper Injured In Crash.

An Illinois Tollway employee was killed and an Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured in a Monday night crash on Interstate 88 -- the Reagan Memorial Tollway -- in the west Chicago suburb of Aurora.

Tollway Worker Killed, State Trooper Hurt In Crash On I-88.

An Illinois Tollway maintenance worker was killed, and an Illinois State Police trooper was injured when a semi-tractor trailer crashed into their vehicles on the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Aurora.

Tollway worker Vincent Petrella killed, state trooper hurt in fiery I-88 semi crash.

An explosive crash on the Reagan Tollway killed a toll worker instantly and left an Illinois state trooper seriously injured.

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. 

People Involved: 
Vincent Petrella
Renato Velasquez
Douglas Balder
Roadway: 
Reagan Tollway
City: 
Aurora, IL

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