Renato V. Velasquez is charged with violation of motor carrier safety law by driver, operating in ill or impaired state, failure to comply with hours of service requirements, driving too fast for conditions or failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failure to yield to emergency vehicle, according to information posted on the DuPage County Clerk of the Circuit Court website.
Velasquez, of Hanover Park, is accused of crashing into a police car and a disabled semi truck, which led to both vehicles bursting into flames, along I-88 in January, 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. on Jan. 27, 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. He worked for a Naperville company, DND International, Inc., according to the article.
Velasquez's lawyer said sleepiness was not the cause of the crash, according to a January Chicago Sun-Times 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.
Petrella had been an equipment laborer with the Illinois Tollway since 2005, said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in a statement released following the crash. 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.