Safety & Compliance

Truck Driver In I-55 Crash Pleads Not Guilty

August 13, 2014

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A truck driver who was involved in a fatal July crash on I-55 near Chicago has pleaded not guilty to charges related to falsifying his logbooks, but reckless homicide charges are still possible in the crash that killed five.

According to published reports, prosecutors are still awaiting the results of investigations by the Illinois State Police before deciding further charges against Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, an owner-operator who has been held on $1 million bond since the July 21 crash.

Espinal-Quiroz allegedly changed lanes abruptly and hit several vehicles stopped in a construction zone. He allegedly was speeding in the construction zone.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration suspended the company's operating authority after it was refused access to company records following the crash.

Another factor that has been raised, according to Chicago-area TV station ABC7, is that Espinal-Quiroz reportedly has significantly limited vision in one eye and that he did not have a current exemption as required on his CDL.

Espinal-Quiroz's attorney emphasized that the investigation is still ongoing on both sides and filed a motion asking that devices and evidence be preserved.

Attorney Sarah Toney is a criminal defense attorney but does not specialize in transportation or trucking. She is editor of the newsletter Traffic Laws and Courts Section of the Illinois State Bar and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.

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