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Crime & Courts

Federal officials: Hanover Park truck driver charged in fatal crash lied about how long he'd been on the road

Illinois-licensed truck driver Renato V. Velasquez, 46, of Hanover Park has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety by the U.S. Department of Transportation after he was accused of crashing a semi-trailer into several vehicles on Interstate 88, causing the death of an Illinois tollway worker and seriously injuring an Illinois State Police trooper, according to a department news release.

Tollway employee Vincent Petrella and state trooper Douglas Baulder pulled over Jan. 27 to help a disabled vehicle on eastbound I-88, east of Eola Road, according to a previous news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. Both positioned their vehicles behind the disabled vehicle and activated their emergency lights.

Velasquez was traveling eastbound on I-88 when he allegedly crashed into the parked vehicles at about 9:30 p.m., killing Petrella and seriously injuring Baulder, the release said.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigators found that prior to the crash, Velasquez violated federal hours of service regulations designed to prevent fatigue, falsifying his logbooks to conceal the number of hours he worked, according to the Department of Transportation release.

Velasquez was on the road for 26 hours during Jan. 26 and 27, traveling about 1,000 miles and resting for three-and-a-half to five-and-a-half hours, which is short of the federally required rest period, the release said.

He is ordered not to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce, according to the release.

Velasquez is charged with multiple felonies, the release said.

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