An Illinois state trooper who was seriously injured in an accident on Interstate 88 in which an Illinois Tollway worker died has filed suit against the truck driver who caused the accident. The trucking company the driver worked for is also named in the lawsuit. Accident Details 

A state trooper seriously injured in an accident that killed an Illinois Tollway worker has filed a lawsuit.

Trooper Douglas Balder, a tow truck, and a Tollway vehicle were stopped on Interstate 88 near Aurora, helping a tractor-trailer driver whose truck had become disabled in the far right lane of the highway. The Tollway vehicle, driven by Vincent Petrella was stopped directly behind the disabled truck with his emergency lights flashing. Trooper Balder stopped behind Petrella’s vehicle and activated his lights, as well as an arrow board on his car that directed traffic into other lanes. According to police documents, another tractor-trailer, driven by Renato Velasquez and owned by DND International, Inc., plowed into the rescue vehicles when Velasquez fell asleep at the wheel, striking the emergency vehicles. Serious and Fatal Injuries In the accident, Petrella was killed and Balder suffered a broken clavicle, fractured ribs and multiple head and facial lacerations. He also suffered second- and third-degree burns in the fire that occurred after the crash. He has undergone multiple surgeries and has been kept under sedation since the January 27 crash. The trooper has been with the department since 2007 and has two children, age 8 and 3. The lawsuit seeks over $1 million for pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement and economic damages. Kimberli Balder, the trooper’s wife, also is named as a plaintiff, and their attorney says she may seek punitive damages as well. Falsified Records Prosecutors charged Velasquez with several felonies at the time of the crash, and he was released on bail. According to court documents, Velasquez had driven for more than 36 hours, falsifying his paper logbook in order to remain on the road, which violated safety rules. The lawsuit alleges that Velasquez operated a commercial vehicle while fatigued and for more than 14 hours, failed to reduce speed, failed to yield to an emergency vehicle, and failed to keep a proper lookout. According to the lawsuit, DND International has a history of poor compliance with safety regulations. The Balders contend that the company failed to inspect the driver’s report of duty status and did not ensure his compliance with federal or local safety regulations. When the negligence of another person or company is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in a car accident that causes injury or death, a personal injury claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an auto accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by someone else’s negligence.

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