Truck driver cited in crash at CTA station

April 28, 2008 3:10:23 PM PDT
Police have cited the man who was driving a semi truck that crashed into a CTA train station on Friday. Two people were killed and 21 were injured in the incident, which police said is still under investigation. Donald Wells was taken into custody after being released from Stroger Hospital following the crash on Friday night. A blood test showed that the 64-year-old truck driver did not have alcohol in his system. Police said he refused to take a urine test.

The Secretary of State's office has no record of previous traffic violations by Wells in Illinois, agency spokesman Dave Drucker said. Michigan authorities also had no record of violations.

Late Sunday night, Wells was cited for negligent driving. He was working for a company called Whiteline Express, which is based in Plymouth, Mich. The violation carries a maximum fine of $100, police said. Wells is due in court June 10.

On Friday evening during the rush hour commute, Wells' semi trailer slammed into the CTA's Cermak/Chinatown Red Line train station. Two women- 47-year-old Eloisa Guerrero and 18-year-old Delisia Brown - were killed. Twenty-one others were injured.

Brown had been shopping for a prom dress. Guerrero had left work at Sutton Place Hotel where she had worked for 11 years.

"She was just a wonderful individual. She was always smiling. We talked about everything. She was planning her wedding," said Pamela Williams, co-worker.

On Monday, some commuters said they had concerns about the CTA station's location even before the accident.

"If you're coming around this corner too fast anything could happen. It's not just the truck driver, it could happen to anybody," said Hudson, CTA customer.

Hudson and other CTA customers who use the El stop said traffic around Chinatown is hazardous.

"See all this traffic we have to deal with during rush hour? I've been afraid a couple times that someone would hit me," said David Nolan, CTA customer.

"This area is very congested. They really need to think about expanding this area," said Hudson.

The Cermak/Chinatown stop is open for business, but the main entrance remains closed. Customers are using an entrance across the street. Many prefer to enter that way.

"I think this is safer," said Nolan. "Because (with the main entrance) people coming off the expressway have a direct line where they can hit people, so it was inevitable for it to happen. So, I think this is a safer exit."


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