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Trucker in  fatal I-55 crash pleads not guilty

Updated: September 15, 2014 4:59PM



A truck driver pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges related to a July 21 crash on Interstate 55 in which three women and a girl were killed when his semi truck slammed into their vehicles in a construction zone near Channahon.

Will County prosecutors said reckless homicide charges are pending against Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, 51, of Leesburg, Ind., but he is now only charged with false reporting of his driving record and failure to maintain a record of duty status. He’s being held in the county jail on $1 million bail.

State’s attorney’s office spokesman Charles Pelkie said prosecutors have met with Illinois State Police several times during the course of the investigation, but a determination has not been made on filing when to upgrade charges against Espinal-Quiroz.

He appeared for Tuesday’s court hearing via video feed from the jail and entered his plea with the aid of an interpreter.

Espinal-Quiroz was speeding northbound through the construction zone near Arsenal Road and collided with the victims’ vehicles as he tried to swerve into the right lane when he realized the left lane was ending, prosecutors said.

The judge granted a motion by Espinal-Quiroz’s attorney’s to preserve evidence in the case, including samples of his blood and urine that were collected by police after the accident as well as his truck and the other vehicles involved.

Frank Vaisvilas



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