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Feds Pull Naperville Firm’s Trucks Off Road After Fatal Tollway Crash

Renato Velasquez (Credit: Illinois State Police)

Renato Velasquez (Credit: Illinois State Police)

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(STMW) — Federal regulators ordered a Naperville trucking company’s vehicles off the road this week, claiming its failure to stop its drivers from falsifying work records was a key factor in a “catastrophic” crash that killed an Illinois Tollway worker and injured a state trooper earlier this year, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

DND International Inc. is an “imminent hazard to public safety” and “does not have adequate safety management practices in place” to make sure its drivers are submitting accurate records, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Renato V. Velasquez, a 46-year-old truck driver from Hanover Park, was criminally charged in the Jan. 27 crash on Interstate 88 that killed tollway worker Vincent Petrella and seriously wounded Illinois State Trooper Douglas J. Balder.

Petrella was helping a disabled truck on the eastbound side of I-88 near Eola Road, and Balder had also stopped at the scene, when a truck driven by Velasquez crashed into their parked vehicles. Federal officials say Velasquez was working for DND at the time.

Velasquez was soon charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired or fatigued, making a false report of a record and duty status, and driving beyond the 14- and 11-hour rules, according to Illinois State Police.

DuPage County prosecutors allege Velasquez had been working for 37 straight hours before the crash. A federal investigation revealed Velasquez falsified his records of duty status four out of the seven days leading up to the crash, according to the FMCSA.

The federal order went into effect immediately. It says any movement of DND’s commercial vehicles must be accomplished only by towing.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)