CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of an Illinois State Police trooper who was severely injured last year in a crash that also killed a tollway worker has demanded more serious charges against the trucker blamed for the wreck.
On Jan. 27, 2014, Trooper Doug Balder suffered third-degree burns to 15 percent of his body, broken ribs, and bleeding on his brain, after a truck driver who had been working for 37 hours straight crashed his rig into Balder’s squad car, an Illinois Tollway maintenance vehicle, and another semi-tractor trailer, while they were stopped along Interstate 88 near Aurora.READ MORE: Ed’s Driveway: Toyota Sienna
Tollway worker Vincent Petrella was killed in the fiery wreck.
Balder and Petrealla were trying to remove a stalled 18-wheeler from the tollway when trucker Renato Velasquez plowed into them.
Balder spent three months in a hospital burn unit, and another nine months recuperating from his injuries, but he still isn’t back on the job yet.READ MORE: 17-Year-Old Boy Shot, Killed In Gresham Neighborhood
“He still requires some physical therapy and occupational therapy daily,” said his wife, Kimberli. “He’s … working to try to be back on full duty, hopefully within the next few months.”