CHICAGO (CBS) — Cars were swerving as a trucker headed down the road, apparently oblivious to rocks pouring from his truck.
That is what a suburban man said happened on his commute – and when he tried to get help, he couldn’t find any. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov went to find out why.
An unexpected hazard is the last thing Midge Ripoli wanted on his drive home from work. But it is exactly what he got.
“I just hear gravel, and hitting my car and I’m swerving,” he said.
The Chicago radio producer showed Kozlov all the windshield dings and a hole that were left in his car.
“It looks like a bullet,” Ripoli said.
He said it was all the result of gravel flying out of the back of a truck on I-290 last week. First, Ripoli said he tried to warn the trucker.
“And I tried, you know, waving him down; like honking; like, ‘Hey, hey!’” he said. “Got the bird.”
The obscene gesture prompted Ripoli to take out his phone and shoot video of the truck with “Pina Enterprises Inc.” on its door.
But Ripoli’s frustrations were just beginning. He called Illinois State Police to file a report, and they directed him to the nearest ISP station.
“(They said), ‘And in about two hours, we’ll have an officer stop by and take your report,’” Ripoli said.
Ripoli couldn’t do that. Then, his insurance company told him they wouldn’t go after Pina Enterprises, so he would have to pony up his $500 deductible for the $580 windshield repair.
“Unless I can get a hold of them, to, you know, ever get them to get their insurance to help out,” he said.
That got him nowhere. So other than call state police, what can a driver do?
An Illinois Department of Transportation representative said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks trucker safety. But we found no record of Pina Enterprises Inc. on the agency’s website.
An online search led to a Southwest Side address. Kozlov knocked, but no luck there either.
Truck safety is an ongoing and real concern. Just last year, a semi’s brake drum dislodged and slammed into Melinda Cullen, 38, killing her and her unborn child.
The trucker was cited in that case. But what about non-fatal matters like what Ripoli experienced?
“It’s very frustrating,” he said.
Kozlov tracked down a man who said he was the cousin of the man who owns Pina Enterprises. He said he would tell his cousin to call her.
We’ll keep looking into that company and what more can be done.