CHICAGO (CBS) — A beloved Bridgeport man is hit and killed while working in the construction zone on I-80.
His family is pleading with drivers to slow down to prevent another tragedy. CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen reports from Bridgeport.
Mark Pirelli lived and grew up in Bridgeport.
He left home early Wednesday morning for work, said goodbye to his wife and just hours after being on the job, he was hit by a van and died instantly. An 84-year-old man was behind the wheel.
Maria Pirelli is mourning the death of her twin brother.
“My life is forever changed without him. It’s my brother,” Pirelli said. “He’s my twin. So it’s a part of me that I don’t think I can celebrate a birthday without him.”
It was Wednesday morning when 47-year-old Mark Pirelli drove more than 100 miles to Bureau County for work.
“He drove very far to work everyday. (He) never complained. Got up crazy hours to work construction to take care of his family,” she said.
Maria said her brother would do anything for his family; his two daughters and wife of 20 years.
“He kissed her and she said ‘I love you. Have a good day’ and he took off for work,” Pirelli said. “And then an officer knocked on her door shortly after that to give our family the news.”
Illinois State Police said a red Honda van was going west on I-80, just half a mile west of Illinois Route 40. That’s when something caused the 84-year-old driver to crash into a construction zone.
“I don’t know if he didn’t pay attention to the signs as much, but he drove into the construction cones and hit my brother,” she said.
Mark was working for a private construction company based in Romeoville. He was standing outside his maintenance truck, helping with traffic control, when he was hit.
The impact killed him instantly.
“We don’t have all of the details, just that he went into the closed lanes of traffic,” Pirelli said.
Maria knows the days, weeks and months ahead will be tough especially around the holidays. She said Halloween was Mark’s favorite time of the year. He would decorate his house every year for the kids and he will never get to do that again.
“I would like them to know he accidentally took our family member and changed our lives forever,” Maria said.
As for the driver, 84-year-old Robert Bowen of Macomb was taken to the hospital, but has since been treated and released.
He was cited for failure to yield.
There is a GoFundMe site set up for Pirelli’s final expenses.