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Trucker pleads not guilty in fatal crash

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

WHEATON (AP) – A truck driver has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with a crash that killed an Illinois Tollway worker and injured a state trooper.

An attorney entered the plea Monday for 46-year-old Renato V. Velasquez of Hanover Park on Monday in a DuPage County courtroom. Velasquez faces multiple felony charges, including driving while fatigued and falsifying truck driving logs.

The Interstate 88 crash killed maintenance worker Vincent Petrella and critically injured Trooper Douglas Balder. The two were helping a disabled truck at the time of the late January crash near Aurora.

Balder’s wife attended Monday’s hearing as did many of her husband’s fellow troopers. Illinois State Police Capt. Patrick Kimes says Balder is still in intensive care.

Velasquez’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 14.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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