The driver of a tractor-trailer who was charged with four felonies in a fiery, high-speed fatal collision late last month has a record of moving violations and a drug conviction. That crash on Interstate 88 critically injured an Illinois State Police trooper and killed an Illinois Tollway employee. The driver was also convicted back in 2001 of delivering cocaine. However, because that felony drug conviction, which involved transporting a kilo of the illegal narcotic, did not involve a commercial truck, he was still able to obtain a Commercial Drivers License in Illinois in 2007 after he served time on the drug conviction.
Since then, the driver has had other moving violations while driving a truck. However, none have been as serious as those he is facing now. He was convicted of speeding in 2010. He was also convicted of backing onto a one-way street improperly. In 2012, he was reportedly involved in an accident that caused damage to property, but was apparently driving a car in that incident.
Not only is the driver's record under scrutiny, but so is the company, DND International, for which he was a contractor. The owner of the Naperville company did not say whether the company knew of the man's history. One of the company's trucks was involved in a fatal accident in 2012. It occurred in Sangamon County on Interstate 55. The owner of DND says that their driver was not at fault for the truck accident that killed another driver.
There may have been an issue with the number of hours the defendant had been driving prior to the I-88 accident. According to the state's attorney's office in DuPage County, the 46-year-old driver had been working for 38 hours prior to the fatal crash, and had gotten less than four hours sleep during that time. After 14 hours of driving, truckers are mandated to get 10 hours of sleep.
The driver posted bail and was released from DuPage County Jail. He suffered only minor injuries in the crash.
Truck collisions can cause a great deal of damage and injury because of the sheer size of the vehicles, not to mention the cargo they carry. Family members who have lost loved ones because of the negligence or actions of a commercial truck driver can file a civil lawsuit against both the trucking company and the driver to recover both punitive and compensatory damages.
Source: ABC 7 Eyewitness News WLS-TV Chicago, "Truck driver charged in I-88 fatal has traffic, drug convictions" Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner, Jan. 29, 2014