Renato Velasquez sentenced to 3 years in fatal I-88 crash

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Truck driver Renato Velasquez was sentenced to three years in connection with a crash that killed a tollway worker and killed a state trooper in January 2014. (WLS)

Truck driver Renato Velasquez was sentenced to three years in connection with a crash that killed a tollway worker and injured a state trooper in January 2014.

Velasquez in February was convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle in a fatigued state, failure to comply with hours of service requirements, driving too fast for conditions and failure to yield to emergency vehicles. He fell asleep at the wheel of his big rig while driving on I-88 near Aurora. His truck slammed into the parked cars of Illinois Tollway worker Vince Petrella and Illinois State Police Trooper Doug Balder, who were helping a stranded motorist. Both vehicles caught fire.

Petrella died. Trooper Balder was seriously injured.

"It's nice to finally have some closure with this. Although, I think you all know we're not satisfied with the outcome," Balder said. "I don't hold any grudges, any malice to the situation. In the end, through my experiences in life, you've gotta move on."

Velasquez's daughter told the court her father was a good man who was just trying to earn money for his family.
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