CHICAGO (CBS) — An Illinois State Police trooper injured in a fiery crash one year ago was pressing DuPage County prosecutors to file more serious criminal charges against the trucker who allegedly caused the wreck.
Trooper Douglas Balder spent months in a hospital burn unit, and another nine months recuperating from his injuries after trucker Renato Velasquez crashed his truck into Balder’s squad car on the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Aurora on Jan. 27, 2014.READ MORE: Rollover Crash On Lake Shore Drive Closes Northbound Lanes Between Fullerton And Belmont Avenues
Velasquez’s truck also slammed into an Illinois Tollway maintenance vehicle, killing Tollway worker Vincent Petrella.
“The night of the crash, I had 13 broken ribs, a broken left scapula, a brain bleed, and a busted lip, second- and third-degree burns to my entire left side,” he said.
Velasquez allegedly had been working for 37 hours before the crash. He has been charged with four felony violations of trucking regulations, including driving while fatigued, falsifying truck driving logs, and driving more than 14 consecutive hours.
Balder and his family want DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin to file reckless homicide charges as well.
“It’s disturbing. I mean, this will happen again,” Balder said.