Sentencing hearing underway for truck driver accused of killing 5 people

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Relatives of five people that were killed in a crash along I-55 shared their stories of loss inside a Will County courtroom.

Their statements were part of Wednesday's sentencing for a truck driver who slammed into cars in a construction zone near Channahon, Ill., back in 2014. The driver is blind in one eye.

Gwendolyn Britton shared the pain of her loss during the sentencing hearing for Francisco Espinal-Quiroz. She said she cries every day.

Her sister, niece and brother-in-law were traveling in their Kia Soul and were among the five people killed in the 2014 accident on I-55 caused by the Indiana truck driver who plead guilty in November to reckless homicide in the fatal crash and to falsifying his travel log and lying about his driving time.

Espinal-Quiroz is also blind in his right eye, but had a waiver to drive a truck through the state of Indiana.

Wednesday's hearing began with testimony from the Indiana state trooper, Cody Garza, who was first to respond to the scene.

Will County Judge David Carlson listened to his testimony and a portion of the trooper's dash cam video that showed the scene.

The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. on July 21, 2014. Espinal-Quiroz was driving a flatbed semi-tractor north on I-55 near Channahon when he entered a construction zone where traffic had slowed before prosecutors said he was going 65 miles per hour when he struck several vehicles.

Espinal-Quiroz faces between six and 28 years in prison. null
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