Wheeling, Illinois Man Killed After Fiery Crash on Interstate 88
Posted on January 28th, 2014 by Zane Cagle
Updated story, 3/3/14, Illinois Semi-Truck Driver Pleads Innocent in Interstate 88 Fatal Crash
A 39 year-old Wheeling man, toll worker died and an Illinois Sate trooper was hospitalized after a crash along Interstate 88 last night. The two gentlemen were assisting a disabled semi-tractor truck around 9:45 p.m. in the eastbound lane of Interstate 88 near Eola Road when another semi-truck crashed into them. The Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the truck driver involved in the crash is currently in custody but no charges have been filed as of 9 a.m. this morning. Officials also say the crash investigation continues
The roadway maintenance worker that was killed is remembered as “hardworking, family man and father of two who was committed to doing his best each day to serve our customers on the Tollway”, said Bond. Roadway maintenance workers are on the roadway to serve customers across the 286-mile system of toll way.
The crash shut down all eastbound lanes of Interstate 88 near Eola Road and one westbound lane while Aurora firefighters and other emergency responders worked to clear the scene.
Risks and Dangers Roadside Workers and Troopers Have to Take
It greatly saddens us all when we see someone killed while doing their job of essentially being a Good Samaritan. Roadside assistance workers put their lives in danger daily when they pull over to the side of the buys interstates to help stranded motorist. From experience with clients, I have seen the most horrific accidents happen when people are stranded on the side of busy interstates. Yet, what would they do without the help of roadside assistance folk or troopers? I will be greatly interested in the results of this investigation to see what kind of flares and warning signs were out showing the stranded semi-truck. Since the Illinois Trooper was assisting, I imagine the disabled semi-truck was probably well marked for safety. However, depending on the timing, maybe it wasn’t? Since the authorities say the semi-truck who crashed into the worker and trooper was “barreling”, it would imply that maybe the second semi-truck was possibly speeding or did not see the safety flares or flashers. Of course, the choice of words used the day after the crash is not always indicative of the investigated facts of the scenario, so we will hold out to find out the results of the investigation.
Every year we hear about a tragic loss of life of a trooper who was killed or seriously injured while doing his/her job and working to keep others safe. In the last year, I have blogged about a two Illinois State Troopers who were killed when semi-trucks hit them or their cruisers. In March of 2013, a 28 year old trooper was killed when a semi-truck struck his cruiser while on a routine stop on the roadside. In November 2012, just 4 months earlier, a 32 year old troop was struck and killed by semi-truck during a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois. What really makes this deaths tragic is that they were all probably unavoidable and it is more than unsettling to have troopers killed on the roadside when their job is to help keep us safe.
Common Theme in These Deaths is Collision with Trucks
At night, disabled vehicles are harder to see than during the day on busy interstates. In each of the accidents above, the three people killed and one injured were all assisting another vehicle at night on the roadside when semi-trucks hit them from behind. If a passenger car hit a semi-truck or another car from behind, there would still be serious injuries or fatalities, but when a semi-truck hits another vehicle at full force while possibly weighing 80,000 pounds, they typically go-through the other vehicle or persons. Semi-trucks with trailers are huge, powerful trucks that do not maneuver easily. The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration has many guidelines for over the road tractor trailers and NHSTA works to improve the safety of trucks on the interstates and highways. Semi-truck drivers are held to a slightly higher standard of care when driving since they are operating such a large vehicle that can do so much damage when it is involved in a crash.
Tollway, Roadside and Emergency Assist Motorists on Interstates
When you are traveling down busy interstates and highways, keep a look out for the roadside workers, tollway workers and state troopers while they assist stranded motorist. Keep our emergency workers safe while they do their job keeping us safe.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident involving another car or a semi-truck, you may need legal representation in order to get the compensation that you or your family deserve. Our attorneys are experts at semi-truck regulations and investigations. Have an expert on your side whether it is a personal injury case or a wrongful death case in Missouri or Illinois, call locally (314) 276-1681 or toll free (314) 276-1681
Source: Hooker, S Tollway worker from Wheeling killed in crash on I-88, Daily Herald 1/28/14