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City To Challenge Award To Family Of Trucker Who Slammed Into ‘L’ Escalator

Donald Wells

Trucker Donald Wells is escorted by a police officer after crashing his semi into the Cermak-Chinatown ‘L’ stop, leaving two women dead and 21 others injured, in 2008. Wells also later died. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — City of Chicago attorneys say they plan to challenge a jury’s decision in connection with a deadly accident four years ago.

As WBBM Newsradio’ Bob Conway reports, a semi-trailer truck coming off the Dan Ryan Expressway slammed into a Chicago Transit Authority escalator at the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station on April 25, 2008.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports


Delisia Brown, 18, and Eloisa Guerrero, 47, were killed, and 21 people were injured, including children.

The truck driver, Donald Wells, 64, of Michigan, was cited for negligent driving and arrested. Wells himself also later died, prompting his family to sue the city.

Wells’ family claimed that police detained him for two days, preventing him from receiving medical attention for his injuries. The suit claims the detention without medical attention ultimately led to Wells’ death, the Chicago Tribune reported.

On Tuesday, a federal court jury awarded Wells’ family more than $1 million in damages, despite testimony from police that Wells did not need medical attention and never asked for it, the Tribune reported.

Following the crash, Wells was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where a blood test indicated no drugs or alcohol in his system. CBS 2 reported at the time.

Afterward, published reports said Wells urinated on the floor of his cell and refused to wear jail garments after his own clothes were taken from him. Wells had also been scheduled to pick up a load in Champaign, but arrived in Chicago without his cargo, according to published reports.

Wells died in June 2008 at a Chicago hospital.

Wells’ attorneys said he died from complications stemming from injuries suffered in the crash that went untreated. But the city said Wells suffered from preexisting and undiagnosed heart problems, and those were the cause of his death, the Tribune reported.