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Driver In Amtrak Crash Will Get License

March 28, 1999

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Illinois will grant a commercial driver’s license to the driver of the truck that was struck by an Amtrak train that killed 11 people, Secretary of State Jesse White said Thursday. But White, who had been looking for ways to pull the driver’s license after the crash, is not happy about the decision.

“I have very serious problems with much of his driving record,” White said in a statement.
John Stokes was driving on a probationary license when his rig entered a railroad crossing in Bourbonnais, IL, March 15, where it was hit by the train. The probationary period ended last week, and Stokes got his full CDL back.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Stokes drove around crossing gates or past warning lights.
Stokes’ driving record included numerous speeding tickets, accidents and license suspensions.
White said that given the choice, he would not give Stokes his CDL until authorities completed a report on the accident. However, there was no basis in state law to withhold the license.

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